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A Critical Study in Mediaeval Literature by 



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A Critical Study in Mediaeval Literature by 











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Paulin Paeis was the first to give the title Le Livre d'Artus quite 
appropriately to the Yulg&te- Merlin, the link which figures in the 
Vulgate-Cycle between Robert cle Borron's Merlin and the Lancelot, 
and he also applied it to the unique second part of the MS. No. 337 2 
of the Bibliotheque Rationale. In the present monograph Le Livre 
d'Artus, whenever this term is used, has a much wider sense, and 
refers to a huge compilation from which both the link in the Vulgate- 
Cycle, the second part of the MS. No. 337, and what is missing at the 
beginning of the former and at the end of the latter, ultimately 

The MS. francos No. 337, one of the earliest known of the MSS. 
of the Arthurian prose-romances, consists of two distinctly different 
parts which were arbitrarily united by a scribe, when the Lancelot 
had reached the last stage in its development, i.e. the one familiar to 
all scholars from the numerous MSS. of the Vulgate-Cycle. Part L, 
or fols. 1-115, correspond to exactly two-thirds of the early history of 
King Artus, as it is found intercalated between Robert de Borron's 
Merlin and the beginning of the Lancelot. For the sake of clearness 

1 I had promised in 1909 to write an article on the subject of Le Livre d'Artus 
for Romania. I fulfilled my promise in the first week of the present year. Paul 
Meyer kindly sent my MS. to Romania. The director, being overwhelmed with 
work, could not find the time to read it till February 24th when he wrote to accept 
the article, if I consented to wait till July and to carry out some slight formal 
alterations in my MS. I have rearranged and expanded what I had written, but 
decided to publish it separately rather than wait, as my ill-health last year had 
already so considerably delayed its appearance. 

2 The MS. No. 337 (Size 37*25 X 26*5 centimeter) was written during the last 
quarter of the thirteenth century (with the exception of fols. 93-96) by one hand, 
on vellum, in double columns of -15, in a few cases of 44 or 46 lines. It, probably, 
formed part of a set of volumes embodying the whole of the Vulgate-Cycle. 
Spaces for three- or, in a few cases, for two-line initials are left throughout ; only 
on fols. 1-124, completely, and on fols. 145-152, partly, are the initials filled in. 



and to avoid the use of the term Le Livre d'Artus, except in the above 
stated sense, I shall call Part I. Fragment I. Part II. of the MS. 
No. 337, or fols. 115-294, minus fols. 251b-254d and 287a-290d, con- 
taining the translation of a Latin version of the Gospel of Nicodemus 
or Acta Pilati, and fols. 256d-258a, containing a description of lisle 
Tournoiant, borrowed from Lestoire del Saint Graal, represent all that 
is left of another version of the early history of King Artus ; this I 
shall call Fragment II. An edition of Fragment II., the importance 
of which already W. Foerster * realised, but which no scholar before 
me has recognised, was for nearly four decades a desideratum. I 
have rendered it accessible to all scholars in the seventh, supple- 
mentary, volume of my Vulgate Version of the Arthurian Romances, 
published by the Carnegie Institution of Washington between 1908 
and 1913, on the general analytical Index to which I am now working. 
I had intended to publish simultaneously with the text 2 the results 
of my studies on the contents of the MS. No. 337, but ill-health, 
enforcing complete abstention from all mental work for six months, 
has frustrated my plan. The present monograph is the tardy realisa- 
tion of my intentions. 

Three scholars have dealt with the MS. No. 337 before me. 
Paulin Paris 3 and E. Freymond 4 have both devoted much time and 

1 Litteraturblatt, xi. c. 268 f. and in his Free edition p. xxxvii, etc. 

2 All who know the Arthurian prose-romances and are familiar with the 
literature recording the various attempts which have been made to explore this 
vast dom'aine of Mediaeval Literature, cannot have failed to recognise from my 
foot-notes to this volume, that I had correctly gauged the importance of the MS. 
No. 337 to the critic, and acted deliberately and judiciously when I decided to 
edit it as a supplement to the Vulgate-Cycle ; some will also have guessed what 
direction my studies of the text would take, but probably not one had the slightest 
idea what results they would lead to. 

3 Paulin Paris has written an analysis of the contents of the whole of the Vulgate- 
Merlin, it forms as Le Roi Artus the greater part (pp. 101-389) of vol. ii. of his Les 
Romans de la Table Ronde, etc. Paris, 1868-1877, 5 vols. 8vo. Now and then 
P. Paris has written the numbers of the leaves of the MS. No. 747, the basis of his 
analysis, on the margin of the MS. No. 337. That P. Paris has attentively read 
Part II. of the MS. No. 337 is shown : first, by the numerous notes he added in 
ink on the margins, and even between the two columns, of the fols. of the MS. ; 
second, by the fact that he was the first to discover that the leaves of the MS. 
after fol. 254 are wrongly bound, and indicated in his handwriting their correct 
order; third, by various notes about and references to incidents narrated in 
Part II. in the second, third, and fourth volumes of his Les Romans, etc. 

4 E. Freymond has not only seen the MS. No. 337 at the Bibliotheque Nationale, 
but the authorities of that library have sent the volume for his use both to Heidel- 
berg and Bern. That E. Freymond has carefully read Part II. is proved by his 
analysis of its contents. He also gives an abstract of the contents of the Vulgate- 


thought to the study of its contents and have spared no trouble to 
understand the lesson it teaches. Of W. E. Mead 1 I may say that 
he, at least, turned over the leaves of the MS. when he endeavoured 
to trace the French original of the English translation represented by 
the MS. in the Cambridge University Library. In spite of all their 
efforts, however, P. Paris and E. Freymond have failed 2 to thread 
the intricate maze, and neither has succeeded in mastering the con- 
tents of the ponderous volume so far as to be able to answer the 
fundamental question : In which relationship do Fragments I. and II., 
the two parts of the MS. No. 337, stand to one another ? Their failure 
in this respect has barred them from reaping the reward of their 
labours, for it has precluded them from realising the great critical 
value of the material forming Fragment II., and last, not least, it has 
rendered it impossible for both to assign to the voluminous work— 
of which this material is but a comparatively small fragment and a 
later rifacimento — the part it played in the evolution of the Arthurian 
prose-romances, and the proper place it occupied in the history of 
the French literature of the Middle Ages. 

Merlin. The results of his studies 011 this subject are to be found in two articles : 
firstly, Zum Livre d'Artus in vol. xvi. (1892), Heft 1 and 2 der Zeitschrift fur 
romanische Philologie, pp. 90-128 ; secondly, Beitrdge zur Kenntnis der altfran- 
zosisehen Artus-Romane in Prosa, in vol. xvii. (1895), Heft 1 and 3 der Zeitschrift 
fur franzosische Spraehs und Litteratur, pp. 1-128. 

1 W. E. Mead, Outlines of the History of the, Legend of Merlin (1899), forming- 
Part IV. of Merlin, or The Early History of King Arthur, a prose-romance (about 
1-150-1-160 a.d.), edited from the unique MS. in the University Library, Cambridge, 
by Henry B. Wheat-ley for the Early English Text Society between 1865 and 1869. 
A glance at pp. cxlvi-cl of Mead's volume will show the reader that I have not 
underrated what he has done. 

2 In speaking of ' cette redaction particuliere,' i.e. Part II. of the MS. No. 337 
in vol. ii. Les Romans, etc., p. 397, P. Paris describes it as ' toute confuse tout 
indigeste,' but then, intuitively feeling the truth, he goes on : ' tout inachevee 
(jir elle semble etre avait du preceder la composition du Lancelot du Lac, et peut en 
avoir ete la premiere inspiration ? ' E. Freymond remarks on the same subject 
in his first article (conf. note 4 above), p. 92 : ' An die Frage, welche Stelle man 
dieser Kompilation in dem umfangreichen Prosaroman-C 1 yklus anzuweisen hat, 
resp. wie sich derselbe zur vulgata des Livre d'Artus verhalt, kniipfen sich eine 
Reihe anderer Fragen, dieG. Paris voraussichilich losen wird, zumal ihm der grossere 
Teil des dazugehorigen, freilich sehr weitschweifigen Materials leicht zuganglich ist. 
Jedenfalls erschweren einige, in den betreffenden Texten sich findende, Wider- 
spriiche die Beantwortung dieser Fragen,' etc. Beyond the note 2 on p. xxiv of 
his Introduction to the Ruth-Merlin : ' Le MS. de la B.N. fr. 337 contient^du 
" livre d'Arthur " une redaction qui, a partir d'un certain endroit, differe complete- 
ment de la vulgate. Cette redaction sera publiee par la Societe des anciens textes 
et donnera 1'occasion d'etudier difierentes questions qui ne peuvent etre abordees 
ici. Elle n'a, d'ailleurs, aucun rapport avec celle du MS. Huth,' I do not know 
any other occasion on which Gaston Paris spoke about the MS. No. 337. 


I have on three previous occasions briefly expressed my views 
on the problem which the MS. No. 337 presents : 

Firstly, in volume xxxii. (1908) of the ZeitscJirift fur romanisclie 
Philologie, page 323, note 3 : ' Teil II. cler Hs. 337, der mich schon 
seit Jahren bei jedem Besuche der National-Bibliothek beschaftigt 
hat, habe ich im vorigen Jahre photographieren lassen, nachdem 
Paul Meyer so freundlich war, mir die Versicherung zu geben, dass, 
weder die Societe des Anciens Textes Franqais vor der Hand eine 
Ausgabe desselben plane, noch, dass sich in Gaston Paris' hinter- 
lassenen Papieren eine Abschrift davon befinde. — Teil II. den Paulin 
Paris bald fiir friiher bald fiir spater als den Lancelot hielt, so viel 
will ich hier kurz andeuten, hat mit clem, die Vulgata reprasentie- 
renden Teil I., weiter nichts gemeinsam, als dass beide von einem 
Schreiber willkiirhch vereinigte Teile von zu verschiedenen Zeiten 
unternommenen Bearbeitungen eines urspriinglichen Merlin sind, 
der sehr wohl den Namen livre d'Artus verdient. Diese Version 
nach cler Lancelot noch nicht zur Tafelrunde gehorte, und die mit 
dem Tode Artus' endete, wie er z. B. von Huchown erzahlt wird, ist 
die Quelle vieler Episoclen cles Lancelot gewesen, und hat auch 
zusammen mit der Perceval -Queste, die ursprunglich mit dem 
Lancelot vereinigt war, das Quellenmaterial zum Perceval li Gallois 
gebiklet,' etc. 

Secondly, in my Introduction (1908) in the first volume of The 
Vulgate Version of the Arthurian Romances, page xx : ' When one 
carefully examines this fragment (I refer to Fragment II), which, 
in the form found in the MS. No. 337 is adjusted to form part of the 
Vulgate-Cycle, one cannot help arriving at the conclusion that the 
whole romance, of which it only represents a part, was intended for 
the same purpose as the Livre d'Artus, viz. to bridge over the gap 
in the narrative between Robert's Merlin and the Lancelot, and that 
it is even more closely related to the latter than can be said to be 
the case with the Livre d'Artus. Certain points, which I hope to 
discuss later— when I shall have printed the whole of the Lancelot 
and of this fragment, and I shall be able to adduce the proof of my 
assertions by referring to pages and lines of the printed texts— render, 
in my belief, the hypothesis, highly probable, that this romance, 
either in its incomplete state or as a whole, already figured in the 
same capacity of link between Robert's Merlin and the Lancelot in 
the cycle from which the Vulgate-Cycle sprang, and that it represents 
a first draught of the Livre d'Artus, which was abandoned in favour 


of the Livre d'Artus itself, when the Vulgate-Cycle was formed, and 
for the preservation of which, in a modified form, we are indebted to 
the scribe of the MS. No. 337, or to the one whose manuscript he 

' What I think of the relationship of the second part of the MS. 
No. 337 to its first part, i.e. to the Livre d'Artus, I have briefly stated 
in Zeitschrift fur romanisclie Philologie (vol. xxxii. page 323, note 3). 
In this explanation I have but to substitute for ' der ursprungliche 
Merlin' an unsatisfactory and easily misleading but not incorrect 
term, the more definite description ' an account of the reigns of 
Uterpandragon and Arthur, different from any we possess ' ; for 
whatever this fragment, minus certain sections not belonging to it, 
may have been, whether it was always a fragment, if even a larger 
one than now, whether it ever figured or was only intended to figure 
as a link between Robert's Merlin and the Lancelot in the cycle pre- 
ceding the Vulgate-Cycle, it represents a far better adaptation of the 
same account as that given in the Livre d'Artus (the Yulg&te- Merlin 
is of course meant), and the close relationship in which it stands to 
the Lancelot points unmistakably to the fact that the writer of the 
Lancelot knew this or a very similar account/ etc. 

Thirdly, in a brief note, I prefixed to my edition of Fragment II. 
(1913), part of which runs as follows : 

' Le Livre d'Artus is a fragment, being defective both at the 
beginning and at the end. It is not, as its place in the MS. No. 337 
would suggest, a suite or continuation of the Yulg&te- Merlin ; both 
are — as I have for the first time asserted — redactions of an account 
of the reigns of Uterpandragon and Artus made at different dates 
for the purpose of linking Robert's Merlin to the Lancelot. Le Livre 
d'Artus, at least the fragment of it before the reader, is more in- 
timately related to the Lancelot than the Vulgate-Mer/^. ' 

' In my opinion Le Livre d'Artus in its earlier form already figured 
in the Joseph- Perceval-Lancelot-Cycle as such a link, and markedly 
influenced the Lancelot. The present text is part of a later rifacimento 
added by some scribe to the Vulgate-Cycle, and — paradoxical as it 
may sound — it is considerably influenced by the Lancelot ; it is in- 
teresting not only from a linguistic but also from a literary point of 
view, representing as it does earlier critical material of great value, 
although in a modified form/ 

These statements, naturally very incomplete, afford nevertheless 
evidence that I have, from the very first, recognised the importance 


of Fragment II. from a critical point of view, and correctly estimated 
the intimate relationship existing between Fragments I. and II. I 
have fortunately nothing to retract. My task it is now to adduce 
the necessary documentary evidence to prove my assertions, and to 
draw the conclusions to which the results of my labours unmistak- 
ably point. 

No scholar, unless he was familiar with every line- of the MS. 
No. 337, could ever hope to determine the relationship existing 
between the two fragments forming its contents. The best, and I 
think almost the only way to acquire such intimate knowledge of a 
romance filling 294 leaves of four columns each of a unique MS. of 
the thirteenth century, is the one in which I gained it, that is by 
transcribing the whole text with my own hands, preparing it for 
press and editing it. I have devoted a stupendous amount of time 
and labour to the study of the MS. No. 337, but my efforts have at 
least led to positive results. 

As my subject is a very complex and intricate one, and as the 
necessity of extensive quotations from Fragment I. (not yet available 
in a printed edition) and, for the sake of comparison, from two other 
texts has caused the several sections of my treatise to be of unequal 
length, I deem it advisable to briefly indicate, what I am anxious to 
prove, and what conclusions, I think, I am entitled to draw from the 
facts I have established, to provide the reader, as it were, with a 
guide, to enable him to follow my line of thought. I desire to 
demonstrate that : 

I. Fragments I. and II., if a section relating certain events were 
intercalated between them, would form a coherent romance, 
allowance being made for small discrepancies owing to their 
different date. 

II. Fragment I. contains ample proof that its continuation must 
have originally contained a number of episodes actually to be found 
in Fragment II. A comparison of the passages containing this 
evidence in Fragment I. with their equivalents in any two of the 
MSS. of the Vulgate-Me^m shows that Fragment I. and these 
MSS. go back to the same archetype. 

III. Both Fragments I. and II. contain allusions to incidents, 
adventures, and events which must have been told in the continua- 
tion of Fragment II. which the MS. No. 337 does no longer 

IV. The Romance, the outlines of which I have indicated in 


sections I., II., and III., contains evidence that it has already figured 
as a link between Robert de Borron's Merlin and the Lancelot in the 
Joseph- Lancelot- Perceval- Cycle . 

V. I am entitled from the facts I have established in sections 
I. to IV., to postulate the existence of a huge compilation which I 
call Le Livre d'Artus, and to point out what were, in all probability, 
the beginning and the end of it. 

VI. Le Livre d'Artus w&s the stock on which Le Livre de Lancelot 
was grafted, and of which it has gradually absorbed a considerable 

VII. Le Livre d'Artus played a prominent part in the evolution 
of the Arthurian prose-romances, a part which it was compelled to 
cede step by step to Le Livre de Lancelot. 

At the head of every one of the seven sections I have placed a 
number corresponding to the one in this guide and a brief title. 

I. The Correlation of Fragments I. and II. Assuming that Frag- 
ment I. had not survived to our days, I will endeavour to glean from 
statements, references, and facts found in the opening chapters of 
Fragment II. what may reasonably be expected to have been the 
contents of the chapters preceding it. The figures I give refer to 
the pages of. my edition of Fragment II., they also, indirectly, refer 
to the beginnings of every one of the four columns of every leaf of 
the MS. No. 337, for I have indicated the latter throughout my text. 

On page 3, at the very beginning of Fragment II., Artus, the 
Companions of the Round Table, Gawain and his companions whoever 
they may be, and the Companions or Knights of Queen Guenever are 

Gawain and his companions must, therefore, already have joined 
Artus's court ; the Companions of the Round Table must have been 
already transferred to Artus ; Artus must have already married, as 
the Queen's Knights have been created. On the same page a peace 
is spoken of, on the conclusion of which Gawain and his companions 
were made Companions of the Round Table, and Gawain himself 
' fu dilec en avant maistre & sire apelez de toz les compaignons de 
la Table Roonde/ As a peace generally terminates a war, a quarrel, 
or a dispute, we must infer that there had been unpleasantness of 
some kind or other between Gawain and his companions on the one 
hand and the Companions of the Round Table on the other. In 
line 30 of the same page we are told that during the rejoicings in 
celebration of this peace, news arrives that the Saxons have sur- 


rounded Clarence, and that its inhabitants ask Artus as their liege- 
lord for help. 

On page 4 Sagremor and Dodinel are mentioned by the side of 
Nascien and Adragain ; the former two must therefore already 
belong to Artus's maisnie. On the same page, line 29, Gawain is 
spoken of as the possessor of the wonderful horse Gringalet. 

On page 6, line 39, the name of Artus's Queen is given ; it is 
therefore clear that he has married Guenever, the daughter of 
Leodegan. In line 48 of the same page, Gawain, mounted on the 
Gringalet (the name is implied here), ' feroit si granz cols d'Escalibor 
que nule armeure . . .' Escalibor being the sword which Artus, 
previous to his coronation, several times withdrew from the stone ; 
it is clear that it must somehow have come into Ga wain's possession. 

On pages 10-12 we find the rebel kings Brangorres, Belinans of 
Sorgales, his brother Tradelinanz of Norgales, Clarions of North- 
umberlande, Neutres of Garlot, Yders of Cornwall, Uriens of Gorre, 
and the Duke Escam of Cambenic, also King Loth of Orcanie, the 
father of Gawain, righting with Artus, his allies Ban and Bohort, 
the Companions of the Round Table and the Knights of the Queen 
against the Saxons before Clarence, although later on we are told that 
the rebels, except Loth, have not yet done homage to Artus. 

On page 13 Urfin, Bretel, and Jordain are mentioned ; Urfin is 
the faithful adviser of Uterpandragon, who together with Merlin 
helped him to realise his wishes concerning Ygerne. Bretel and 
Jordain are the two knights and confidants of Igerne's husband, 
Duke of Hoel. Merlin gives to Uterpandragon the semblance of the 
duke, to Urfin or Ulfin that of Jordain, and to himself that of Bretel, 
when they enter Tintaguel to deceive Ygerne. On the same page 
Kex is said to be the bearer of Artus's banner ; on this occasion, 
however, Merlin takes the banner out of Kex's hands and carries it 

On page 15 it is stated that the rebel kings and the duke (except 
Loth, who is not named) have not yet acknowledged Artus as their 
sovereign lord ; from the absence of Loth's name we may infer that 
he has already made his peace with Artus. 

On page 17 Artus is said to draw the good sword ' que il toli au 
roi Rion/ Artus must therefore have previously fought and 
vanquished the king of Ireland. 

On the same page Galeschin, the son of King Neutres of Garlot, 
is mentioned as being one of Artus 's knights. 

On page 18 Ywain le Granz, the son of King Urien of Gorre, 
and Gaheris, a brother of Gawain, are said to perform feats of valour 
as knights of Artus. 

On page 19 King Loth is associated with Artus, his allies, 
knights, and auxiliaries in fighting the Saxons. 

On page 20 Artus's indiscretion with the beautiful Lyzianor and 
the subsequent birth of Lohot are referred to when Arrans, the Saxon 
king, endeavours to get Lyzianor into his power. 

On page 21 a fruitless attempt of Merlin to induce the rebel kings 
to make peace with Artus is recorded, and Merlin's failure is attributed 
to Urien's stubborn obstinacy. On the same page Eliezer is for the 
first time mentioned as Ga wain's squire, taking care of Le Gringalet. 

On pages 21 and 22 we learn from the list of knights who accom- 
pany Gawain that besides Sagremor, Dodinel, Ywain le Granz, 
Galeschin, and Gaheris already mentioned, the following have joined 
Artus 's maisnie : Ywain li Avoutres, Agravain, Guerrehiers, Giflez, 
Kex d'Estrans, Kehedins li Petiz, Kehedins li Biaus, Ywain aux 
Blanches Mains, Ywain de Cinel, Ywain de Lionel, and Ywain TEsclain 
and many others. 

On page 22 we are also informed that Eliezer, the squire of Gawain, 
is the son of King Pelles of Listenois. 

On page 24 we are told that Artus invested his nephew Galeschin 
with the dukedom of Clarence. 

On page 25 Artus invites the rebel kings to come into the city of 
Clarence. Urien is said to be incensed against Artus for having 
given Clarence to Galeschin and to vow vengeance ; King Neutres, 
Galeschin's father, on the contrary, is beginning to regret his hostile 
attitude towards Artus. 

On page 27 a second great battle before Clarence is described, 
and the rebel kings and King Loth are said to fight on the side of 
Artus against the Saxons. 

On page 29 Gosengos li damoisiaus de Tharmandaise, in whom 
Guenever takes an interest, is mentioned as a brave knight. 

On page 35 Artus, his allies and the rebel kings leave Clarence 
and march to Vandeberes. Uriens leads the first division, Ydiers 
the second, Aguiscanz the third, Neutres the fourth, Loth the fifth, 
Karados the sixth, Brangorres the seventh, Belinans the eighth, 
Tradelinanz the ninth, the ' rois des .C. Chevaliers' the tenth, Clarions 
the eleventh, and Escaus the twelfth. 

On page 50 the conversation between Loth and Gawain show* 

W »1KUUIUK^ UV _LJii .LlVltii, JUAK1US 

distinctly that Loth has already become Artus's vassal, and one may 
infer from the words used by the father, that he was compelled to 
acknowledge Artus by his son. 

On page 52 a dream of Artus is told, in which he sees how Kex 
deprived his son Lohot of a white bird. Lohot disappears from Artus's 
view in a mist which suddenly rises. Kex returns to court. After 
a while a knight (by the description given no other than Perceval) 
arrives and bids Artus ask Kex if he took the bird from Lohot. At 
last Kex owns that he has taken the bird. 

On page 53, when Gawain speaks of the services he has rendered 
to Artus he declares : ' & neis mon pere li fis ge au pie venir & crier 
merci & prendre terre de luj si [com] uos meismes sauez ' ; from this 
declaration it is clear that Gawain had forced his father to become 
Artus's vassal. On the same page Gawain mentions that through 
his persuasion all the rebels had now recognised Artus's suzerainty 
except Urien. 

On page 60 and in several other places Blaise ' le maistre de 
Merlin ' is mentioned, to whom Merlin goes from time to time to 
report what has happened. 

On page 153 Guenever is said to surprise the lovers Morgan and 

Many other minor points x might be added to this list, but I 
think enough has been said to give the reader an idea what the 
contents of the chapters were that must have preceded the 
beginning of Fragment II. 

Any one sufficiently acquainted with the contents of the Vulgate- 
Merlin perusing this enumeration of references to events, incidents, 
and facts I have given here, will have no difficulty in recognising that, 
with the exception of three points, all and every one can be accounted 
for in that romance, and what is more, in the two-thirds of it which 
form Fragment I. The three points which cannot be explained by 
anything related therein are : 

1 As I have united the Index of Le Livre cV Artus with that of the six volumes 
representing the Vulgate-Cycle, for the deliberate purpose of demonstrating that 
most of the dramatis personce of that romance also figure in the Yulgate-ilfer/m 
and in the Lancelot, although their names, especially those of many supers, are 
often sadly corrupted and disfigured beyond recognition — e.g. the name of the 
Saxon king Brannague in the MS. No. 337, Part II., occurs in the following variations 
in the MSS. A, B, and C, from which I quote passages : Banaigue, Bavaigne, 
Bamague, Bonegue, Bramangue, Branmague, Brangye, and Bernagne — and as I 
hope to publish my Index-volume in the course of the current year, I have here, 
to save space, refrained from adducing a good deal of first-rate evidence. 


Firstly, Gawain's possession of the horse Gringalet. 

Secondly, the appearance of Eliezer the son of King Pelles of 
Listenois as Ga wain's squire. 

Thirdly, the existence of the trnce between Artus and the rebel 
kings (except Loth) which renders it possible for the latter, without 
having previously acknowledged Artus as their liege lord, and as his 
unvanquished enemies, to fight side by side with him and his 
knights against the Saxons, their common foe before the cities of 
Clarence and Vandeberes. 

And what conclusion may be drawn from these facts ? If a 
section, satisfactorily explaining these points (very much like the 
account of the mission of King Loth and his sons to the rebel kings, 
omitting, however, the knighting of Elyezer and some minor details, 
as told in the last third of the Vulgate- Merlin) were prefixed to 
Fragment II., or what would have the same result, appended to 
Fragment I., the whole text of the MS. No. 337 — if due allowance 
is made for slight differences and discrepancies that owe their origin 
to the different date and pedigree of the MSS. from which the two 
parts descend — could very well, and does indeed form a coherent 
and continuous work deficient at the end. 

II. Allusions in Fragment I. to persons, incidents, and adventures 
in Fragment II. My assertion that Fragments I. and II. were one 
day parts of a romance we no longer possess, is by no means a 
hypothesis or a fabrication of my imagination, it is a reality, supported 
by convincing and irrefutable evidence more or less clearly expressed 
in a number of passages in Fragment I. and in the MSS. of the Vulgate- 
Merlin, containing its equivalent, treasured at the Bibliotheque 
Nationale, the British Museum and elsewhere. 

The most telling and striking of this evidence I will now adduce 
from three MSS. Firstly, from the Add. MS. 10292 (=A) at the 
British Museum, which I have edited in the second volume of The 
Vulgate Version of the Arthurian Romances. Then, of course, from 
the MS. No. 337 (=B) ; and thirdly from the MS. in the Cambridge 
University Library (=C), which H. B. Wheatley has edited for the 
Early English Text Society. A and C I have selected for no other 
reason than their accessibility in printed editions, any other two or 
three MSS. would have served my purpose equally well. To enable 
the reader to see at a glance the salient points in each of the nine 



quotations, these are printed in italics and the three passages are 
placed side by side in column form. 

Firstly, King Nantres (Neutres, Nentres, Nextres, Ventres) of 
Garlot had married Blasine (Blaasine, Basyne), one of the daughters 
of Duke Hoel and Ygerne, later the wife of King Uterpandragon. 
They had one son named Galeschin. Concerning this son Galeschin, 
there occurs in the Yulg&te- Merlin the following* passage : 

Add. MS. 10292, fol. 113b 
edition, page 127 


& la feme au roy Nantre fu 
seror au roy Artu de par 
sa mere Ygerne qui auoit 
este fille au due Hoel de 
Tintaoel si ot anon Blasine. 
& de li ot li rois Nantres 
son fil qui puis fu compains 
de la Table Roonde. si fu 
noumes par son droit nom 
Galescin & fu puis dus de 

MS. No. 337, fol. 19c 

& la fame au roi Xeutre 
qui fu seur au roi Artu de 
par sa mere Yguerne qui 
fu fame au roi Vterpan- 
dragon & fame au due 
Hoel de Tintaiuel qui en- 
gendra Blaasine qui fu fame 
au roi Xeutre. & en ceste 
Blaasine engendra il son fil 
qui tant fu puis bons 
chevaliers & hardiz. car il 
fist puis tant si com li conies 
le uos deuisera ca < w mil 
quil fu cles .ij c . & .1. cheva- 
liers qui furent de la Table 
Reonde des plus proisiez. 
& ot non par son droit non 
Galeschins li dux de Cla- 
rence, que li rois Artu li 
dona apres ce quil of esposee 
sa fame la reine Guinieure. 


MS. in the Cambridge Univer- 
sity Library, fol. 60b ; ed. 
H. B. Wheatley, page 177 

and the wif of kynge 

Ventres was suster to kynge 
Arthur on his moder side.. 
Ygerne that was wif to 
Vterpendragon, and wif 
also to Hoel, Duke of Tinta- 
gell, that he begat Basyne, 
the wif of kynge Ventres. 
And vpon this Basyne be- 
gate he his sone, that was so 
a gode a knyght and hardy. 
as ye shall here herafter, 
and how he was oon of the 
CCL. knyghtes of Rounde 
Table, and oon of the moste 
preysed, and his right name 
was Galashyn, the Duke of 
Clarence, that the kynge 
Arthur hym yaf after he 
hadde wedded his wif Gon- 

This passage is very short in A, but fuller and of equal length 
in B and C. While A does not announce what is told later on in 
the story, but only says 'qui fa puis/ B and C state clearly, that 
later on will be told, how Galeschin distinguished himself and 
became one of the Companions of the Round Table and was 
made duke of Clarence by King Artus, after he had i larriecl Q leen 
Guenever. These announcements refer to Fragment II. 

Secondly, when Artus went to Thamelide to help King Leodegan, 
and to gain the hand of Guenever, he was accompanied by Merlin, 
Ban, Bohort, and thirty-nine brave knights. In the course of the 
war against the Saxons a great battle is fought in the neighbourhood 
of Carohaise, ' illuec le firent bien li xlij. compaignon si quil en fu 



parle lone tans apres lor mort en la terre & ens el pais ..." On 
this occasion the names of all these knights are given. The first 
nine names are the same in A, B, and C, viz. Ban, Bohort, Artus, 
Antors, Ulfin, Bretel, Keu, Lucans, and Giflet le fil Do. 1 The other 
names are as follows : 


fol. 29a, b 

10. Marroz de la Roche. 

11. Guinas li Blois. 

12. Drianz de la Forest 

13. Belias li Amoreus du 
Chastel au Puceles. 

14. Flandrins li Brez du 
Chastel au Dames. 

Ladinas de Benoyc. 

fol. 119 d, e, ed. page 148 
10. Mauruc de la Roche. 

11. Drians de la Forest. 

12. Belyas li Amoureus. 

13. Flandrins li Bres. 

14. Ladinas de Benoyc. 

15. Amores li Bruns. 

16. Aucalec li Rous. 

17. Blois del Casset. 

18. Bliobleris de Gaunes. 

19. Canode. 

20. Meleauclon de Blois. 

21. Ies Meladant. 

22. Placides li Gais. 

23. Lampades de la Planoie. 

24. Ieraais Lanches. 

25. Cristofles de la Roche 


26. Aiglins des Vaus. 

27. Calogrenant. 

28. Agusale le Desire. 

29. Agraueil le fil a la Sage 

Dame de la Forest 
Sans Retour. 

30. Cliacles lOrphenin. 

31. Kehedin li Biaus. 

33. Meraugis de Portlegues. 

34. Gornains Cadrus. 

35. Claries de Gaule. 

36. Li Lais Hardis. 

37. Amadan lOrguellous. 

38. Osenains Cuer Hardi. 

39. Galesconde. 

40. Gales li Chaus. 

41. Blaaris li filleus au roy 

Bohort de Gaunes 

42. Merlins. 

fol. 73a, ed. page 212 
10. Maret de la Roche. 




la Forest 

Drias de 

Belias de Amerous 

Maydons Castell. 
Flaundryns le Bret. 





Amoret le Brun. 
Taulas li Cox. 
Bibliots de Casel. 
Canet de Carmurtin. 
Meliaduc li Blois. 

22. Madam li Crespes. 

23. Placides li Gais. 

24. Plantalis[de]laPlagnie. 

25. Zeroiais Lancheis. 

26. Cristofles de [la] Roche 

Aiglins des Vax. 
Grisalus li Desreez. 
Greu li nies a la Sage 

Dame de la Forest 

Sanz Retor. 


Cliales lOrfenin. 
Guiuret de Lambale. 
Kaadins li Biaux. 

34. Meraugis de Porlesguez. 

35. Goruain Cadruc. 
Clairoit li Chaus & Li 

Laiz Hardiz. 
Madain lOrgueilleus. 
Oseuain Cors Hardiz. 
Gales li Chaus. 
Blaans li filleus au roi 

Bohorz de Gaunes. 





14. Ladynas de Benoyk. 

15. Amoret le Brun. 

16. Anticolas le Rous. 

17. Blois del Casset. 

18. Blioberis. 

19. Canade. 

20. Meliadus le Bloys. 

21. Aladan the Crespes. 

22. Placidas ly Gays. 

23. Leonpadysof the Play n. 

24. Ierohas Lenches. 

25. Christofer de la Roche 

Ayglin des Vans. 
Aguysale de Desirouse. 
Agresianx, the nevew 

of the Wise Lady of 

the Foreste Withoute 

Chalis the Orphenyn. 
Grires de Lambal. 

32. Kehedin de Belly. 

33. Meranges de Porlenges. 

34. Gosnayns Cadrns. 

35. Clarias of Gaule. 

36. The Lays Hardy. 

37. Anmadius the Proud* 

38. Osenayn Cors Hardy. 

39. Galescowde. 

40. -Gales. 

41. Blcoris the sone 

kynge Boors. 

42. Merlin. 




43. kynge Leodogan. 
1 The Scribe of B writes instead of Giflet le fils Do : Girflet Do de Carduel. 


In these three columns the Arabic numbers before the names of 
the knights correspond to the ordinals used in the same places in the 
MSS. To enable the reader to see at a glance which form represents 
the name of any knight in each MS., I have placed his name, irre- 
spective of the place he occupies in the list, on the same line in every 
column. A comparison of the three columns discloses a number of 
discrepancies, differences in the sequence of the names, omissions 
and errors, but, in spite of all these faults, the descent of every one 
of these lists from a common original is evident. 

B gives his eleventh place to Guinas li Blois, a knight not men- 
mentioned by A and C, because, having given his thirty-sixth place 
to two knights Clairoit li Chaus and Li Laiz Hardiz, he was short 
of one knight. 

A omits the name of Guivret de Lambale, filling the thirty-second 
place in B and the thirty-first in C, because he left out the number 32 
altogether in his list. 

The twenty-first knight in A owes his peculiar name Iesmeladant 
to the fact that one learned scribe combined the termination -iesme, 
used to mark ordinals, with a proper name. 

Several names are quite different in each list, so e.g. Aucalec li 
Rous, Taulas li Cox, Anticolas li Rous ; Lampades de la Planoie, 
Plantalis [de] la Plaigne, Leonpadis of the Playn. The 29th knight 
in A and C, the 31st in B deserves particular attention. In all three 
MSS. this knight is said to be a relative of ' la Sage Dame de la Forest 
sans Retour/ but while A describes him as her son, B and C speak 
of him as her nephew. In A his name is Agraveil, in C he is called 
Agresianx, in B alone the form Greu occurs. ' Greu or Grex le fils 
du roi d'Alenie ' is in Fragment II., the knight who achieves the 
adventure x of la Laide Semblance^ but he is neither the son nor the 
nephew of ' la Sage Dame de la Forest Aventureuse, ' but marries her 
beautiful niece. 

The fact that Fragments I. and II. are so considerably at variance 
here, shows clearly that they are derived from different versions, and 
that the scribe was not aware of it. 

Thirdly, King Aguiscant of Scotland marches with a large host 
against the Saxons who have invaded his territory, and plunder and 
burn wherever they go, and kill or drive the inhabitants to flight. 
The king, a very brave knight, leads the vanguard personally, and 
entrusts the leadership of his rearguard to his cousin Gaudin de Val 
1 Conf. my edition, vol. vii. pp. 150-162. 



Efiroi. Concerning this knight Gaudin the MSS. say what 
follows : 

fol. 124e, ed. page 164 

& li rois Aguiscans se met 
deuant el premier front a 

tout viij . 

homines. & 

Gaudins de Val Esfroi 
faisoit lariere garde a tout. 


fol. 36c 

si les conduisoit li rois Aguis- 
canz u premier chief deuant 
a tot. vij M . homes molt bien 
armes. & Gaudins de Ual 
Esfroiz fu en lariere garde 

chevaliers qui iouene a tout. viij M . homes qui 


homme estoient & preus & 
seurs as armes, si estoient 
bien monte sor cheuaus 
fors & courans. 

Oil Gaudins estoit cousins 
au roy Aguiscant de par 
sen pere. & il fist puis 
maintes beles proeces de- 
uant le chastel pour lamour 
a la damoisele de Branlanc 
quil voloit auoir a feme a 
force. & deuant la riche 
uile del Gaut Destroit qui 
tant fist a proisier tant que 
Gaudin le conquist par 
sa proece si comme li contes 
deuisera encore sil est qui 
le vous die ma is li lieus ni 
est ore mie. 

ioenes cheualiers estoit & 
bons as armes & seurs & 
cousins apres germains au 
roi Aguiscans de par son 
pere. Icist fist puis mainte 
bele cheualerie deuant le 
chastel ma damoisele Lore 
de Branlant quil uoloit 
auoir a force a fame. & 
deuant la riche uile qui 
tant fist a proisier du Gaut 
Destroit. tant que Gau- 
uenez li resqueust par sa 
proesce einsi come li contes 
le uos deuisera ca auant car 
li leus nen est ores mie aim 
retorne a parler du roi 

fol. 82b, ed. page 237 

and hem condited the 
kynge Anguysans in the 
formest fronte with vij M . 
that were yonge bachelers 
and hardy. This Gaudius 
was cosin germain to Aguy- 
sans on his fader side ; and 
he dide after many feire 
chiualries before the cast ell, 
for the damesell of Brulent, 
that he wolde haue hadde 
be force to his wif , and was 
before the riche town that 
was so moche preised er 
that Gaudius in conquered 
by his prowesse, as the 
storie shall telle hereafter, 
for it is yet no tyme therto, 
but returne to the kynge 
Aguysans of Scotlonde, that 
rode togeder, he and Gau- 
dius till thei fill amonge 
the forriours and . . . 

As the words printed in italics show, all three MSS. announce, 
in unmistakable terms, that the story will later on tell what Gaudin 
does. In Fragment II. 1 we are told that Gaudin wishes to marry 
Lore de Branlant. She refuses to listen to him. He besieges her 
in her castle Gaut Destroit. Lore sends her sister to Artus and asks 
him to send her a knight to defend her against Gaudin. Gawain 
(who pretends to be Daguenet li Coars) succours Lore and vanquishes 
Gaudin. The scribes of A and C, or probably the one of some earlier 
MS., from which both ultimately descend, have confused this passage 
by reading Gaudin for Gawain. It is noteworthy that the names 
are all correctly given by A. In C, in addition to ascribing to Gaudin 
the conquest of the castle, he is described as fighting for the ' damesell 
of Brulent/ 

1 Conf. my edition, vol. vii. pp. 84-108. 



Fourthly, while Artus, Ban, and Bohort are at Carohaise, Merlin 
one day makes obscure prophesies. When the three kings urge him 
to explain what he means, he refuses, but declares that all he has 
predicted will happen during Artus's lifetime. While the four are 
speaking together, a messenger from King Leodegan enters and asks 
the allied kings to come to his master. This messenger is Guiomar, 
Leodegan's nephew, about whom the MSS. say : 

fol. 140a, ed. page 215 

si auoit a non Guiomar & 
estoit de leage cle. xxvj. 
ans. & ce fu oil par qui li 
cheualierde la Table Roonde 
orent puis tant paine por 
la damage que la roine 
Genieure li fist des amors 
Morgain la 1 seror le roy 
Artu qui tant lama de 
grant amor que Genieure 
li aleua si grant blasme 
c<> nn a < li conies vous de- 
uisera cha auant. Mais ore 
lairons de ce a parler 
iusqua vne autre fois que 
li contes nous i menra. 


fol. 58c. 

& auoit non Guionmarz. 
si estoit molt iuenes daage 
come de. xv. anz. & ce fu 
cil par cuj acoison li roi- 
aumes de Logres ot 2 puis 
maint grant tribous. & par 
qui li cheualier de la Table 
Roonde orent puis maint es 
granz paines & mainz granz | 
trauauz por le deuoi que | 
Guenieuresa cosine li fist des 
amors Morgant la Fee suer 
au roi Artu qui tant lama 
de grant amor por cui 
Guenievre fu puis si meslee 
a luj que cele li aleua de si 
granz blasmes com li con- 
ies le uos cleuisera ca auant. 

fol. Ilia, ed. p. 316 

and his name was Guyomar, 
and was . xxv. yere of age ; 
and this Guyomar caused 
afterwarde the reame of 
Logres- to be in grete 
trouble, b} r whom the 
knyghtes of the Rounde 
Table hadde after soche 
peyne and labour for the 
damage that the quene 
Gonnore hyin dide, for the 
love of Morgain, the suster 
of kynge Arthur, that so 
moche hym loved that the 
quene areisede so grete 
blame, as the tale shall re- 
herse hereafter whan the tyme 
cometh to speke of that 
■mat ier. 

All three passages agree in stating that the story will later on 
speak about Guiomar, Morgan, and Guenever, and this statement 
does not only refer to another passage (which I shall quote later on) 
in Fragment I. but to an incident 3 told in Fragment II., and to events 
told in the Lancelot. 

Fifthly, in a great battle against King Rion the Knights of the 
Round Table, then still at Leodegan's court, do wonders. One of 
them distinguishes himself before all others. His name is Nascien, 
and he is a relative of King Pelles of Listenois. In reference to 
Nascien the MSS. state : 

1 MS. has ' le.' 
- MS. has'&.' 
3 Conf. my edition, vol. vii. pp. 134-137. 



fol. 142a, ed. page 221 

Mais sour tous les autres 
le fist bien vns damoisiaus 
dont li contes doit moult 
bien parler car il ne fait 
mie a trespasser ains fait 
moult bien a rementeuoir 
dont il fu & comment il ot 
non. Car che fu .j. des 
millors cheualiers qui onques 
fust al tans le roy Vter- 
pandragon ne al tans le 
roy Artu tant comme il [li] 
p[l]ot [a] mener cheualerie. 
li conte des estoires client quil 
fu cousins germains Par- 
cheual le Galois de par sa 
meire dont li contes pari era 
cha auant cur li liens nen 
est ore mie. car il fu fiex 
Hauingues qui fu de la 
seror Josep[h] qui fu feme 
espouse Bron qui .xvij. fiex 
ot dont la terre de Bertaigne 
fu puis enluminee & parent 
prochain Celidoine le fils 
al due Xascien de Betique 
qui la giant merueille del 
Graal vit premierement. & 
si ert parent al roy Pelles 
de Listenois & a ses freres. 
icil ot non Xasciens. Icil 
Nasciens ot puis Lancelot 
dou Lac le fil au roy Ban 
de Benoyc en sa baillie dont 
li contes vous deuisera 
toutes les estoires les vns 
apres les autres si comme 
eles auendront de iour en 
iour. Icil Xasciens que ie 
vous di si fu apeles Xasciens 
pour le due Xascien qui 
tant fu preudomme. & il fu 
puis de si boine vie que 
quant il ot laisiet cheualerie 
quil deuint hermit es. & 
nostre sires mist tant de 
grace en li quil deuint puis 
prestrcs messe cantant. & 


fol. 61b 

Mais sor toz eels qui bien 
le firent le fist bien uns 
damoisiaus dont li contes 
doit bien parler. car ne 
fait mie a trespasser que 
li contes ne doie bien escla- 
rier qui il fu & coment 
il ot non. car ce fu li uns 
des meillors cheualiers qui 
onques fust au tens le roi 
Uterpandragon. & au tens 
le roi Artu meismes tant 
com il li plot a maintenir 
cheualerie. <Sa li contes des 
estoires dit que il fu cosins 
germains Perceual le Galois. 
& de par sa mere dom il 
partem assez ca auant que 
li leus ni est ore mie. & si dit 
li contes qui[l] fu bien pro- 
chien [parent] loseph dAba- 
rimathie. car il fu filz de la 
fille a la fille Enhyngeus la 
seror Iosep[h] qui fu esposee 
a Xesecuj qui .xij. fiz orent 
dont la Mendre Bretaigne 
fu puis enluminee. & paranz 
prochiens Celeydoine le fil 
au due Xascien dOrberique 
qui la grant merueille du 
Graal uit premierement. & 
si apartint moult de pres 
le roi Perles de Bristenois 
& ses freres. & cist ot puis 
maint ior en garde Galehat 
le fil Lancelot dom li contes 
uos deuisera esclairiement 
toutes les choses lune apres 
lautre si com eles auindrent 
de celuj ior. & cist Xasciens 
dont ge uos di si fu apelez 
einsi por amor du due Xas- 
cien qui tant fu preudome & 
puis fu de si bone uie quant 
il laissa cheualerie & il 
deuint hermites que nostre 
sires se baigna en luj tant 
quil deuint prestres messe 

fol. 114b, page 326 

But of alle other ther dide 
well a yonge knyght, that 
ought well to be rehersed 
in the storye, for he ought 
not to be foryeten but to 
be remembred what he was 
and what was his name, 
ffor he was the beste that 
euer was in the tyme of 
Vterpendragon and in the 
tyme of kynge Arthur, as 
longe as hym liked for to 
vse and to haunt e chiualrie. 
The storye seith that he 
was cosin germain vnto 
Perceuall de Galoys vpon 
his moder side, of whom this 
boolce shall speke hereafter 
whan the matier cometh 
thereto ; and also the boke 
seith that this knyght was 
nygh kyn to loseph Abara- 
mathie, for he was the sone 
of Enhyngnes, the soster 
of loseph, that was wif 
wedded to Ebron, that 
hadde .xij. sones whereof the 
loncle of Bretaigne was after 
enlumyned, and next cosin 
to Selydoyne, the sone of 
Duke Xascien de Breting, 
that the grete merveile of 
the Graal saugh firste, and 
also apertened to kynge 
Pelles de Lytenoys and his 
brethren. This knyght 
hadde after Galaad, the 
sone of Launcelot, many a 
day in his kepinge wherof 
the boke shall reherse here- 
after of alle thinges oon 
alter another as thei fill 
day be day. This knyght 
of whom I haue so spoken 
was cleped Xascien ffor love 
of the duke Xascien, that 
was so noble a knyght, and 
he was after of so gode 




lyvinge whan he hadde 
lef te chivalrie that he becom 
an hermyte ; and oure lorde 
hym visited and loved so 
that he was a preste and 
seide messe and was also 
a niayden and chaste as 
longe as he leved ; and 
this same knyght was after 
ravisshed be the Holy Goste 
into the thridde heuene, 
where he saugh apertely 
the fader, sone, and holy 
goste. This knyght hadde 
after the storie in his 
kepinge and wrote with his 
owne , hande by coni- 
maundement of the grete 
maister ; and that he dide 
write he anexed to the 
booke that Blase wrote, the 
holy hermyte, by the tech- 
inge of Merlin. This knyght 
yaf afterwarde, whan he 
was hermyte, the noble 
eounseile to kynge Arthur 
whan he was in pereile to 
lese his londe, in the tyme 
of Galehaut the lorde of 
the Fer Oute Yles, that 
werredvpon Arthur with the 
power of .xxx. kynges that 
he hadde alle conquered. 
But now resteth the tale 
to speke of thise thinges, 
and returneth to telle how 
i thei dide in the bataile. 

All three MSS., which agree fairly well here, state clearly that the 
story will have later on to say a good deal about Nascien. Nascien 
is not often mentioned in the Fragment /., but many of the incidents 
foreshadowed in this passage are told in Fragment II. 3 B contains 
toward the end another reference to the Lancelot. 

Sixthly, when the duel between Artus and Rion has lasted a long 
time, and Artus has disdainfully declined to surrender his arms and 
to go free, Rion asks him his name. Artus answers the giant's 

1 MS. has ' galios.' 2 Cite de Daneblaise. 

3 Conf. my edition, vol. vii. pp. 244-261. 

si fu uirges & castes tant 
com il uesqui .& icestui 
Nascien raui puis li Saint 
Espris & lenporta ou tierch 
chiel ou il uit apertement 
le peire & le fil et le saint 
esprit, icil ot puis la Sainte 
Estoire en sa baillie & escrit 
de sa main propre par le 
commandement del Saint 
Maistre. & tant en escrist 
quil aiousta al liure Blaise 
qui par Merlin en fist ce 
quil en fist. Icil douna puis 
li riche conseil al roy Artu 
quant il estoit en peril de 
perdre sa terre al tans que 
Galehot 1 li sires des Lon- 
taines lies le guerroia al 
pooir de .xxx. rois quil 
auoit tous conquis. Mais 
a tant se taist ore li contes 
de ces coses raconter si 
retorne a conter tout mot 
a mot comment il lor auint 
en la bataille. 

chantant. & il fu uirges 
& chastes tant. com il 
uesquj. & li Sains Esperiz 
enporta cestuj u tierz ciel. 
ou li li mostra deuiseement 
le pere & le fil & le saint 
esperit. icist ot puis la 
riche estoire en sa baillie. 
& escrit de sa main propre 
par le commandement du 
Grant Maistre. & tant en a 
escrit quil laiosta au liure 
Blaise le Saint Hermit e qui 
par Merlin en fist ce quil 
en fist. Icist dona puis le 
riche conseil au roi Artu 
quant il estoit en peril de 
perdre toute sa terre au 
tens que Galehaz li Sires des 
Estranges Isles le guerroia 
au pooir de .xxxix. rois que 
il auoit toz conquis. mais 
atant se taist ici li contes 
dels dices choses que plus 
nen uuelt ore raconter. cor 
bien uos sera encores tout 
esclairie & conte mot a mot. 
si retorne a parler coment 
il lor auint en la bataille 
deuant la cite de Neblaie. 2 



question and then asks him who he is. Eion gives the following 
answer : 


fol. 145b, ed. page 231 

Ore saces de uerite que iou 
ai a non Rions & sui rois 
dlierlande. si tieng toute 
la terre iusquen la Terre 
des Pastures. & outre fust 
ele encore moie son i peust 
passer, mais on ni passera 
iamais tant comme La 
Laide Semblance en sera 
ostee. & cest une bone que 
Iudas i geta. & ce fu en- 
senge quil auoit la terre 
toute iusques la conquise. 
& li anchien dient que ia si 
tost ne sera cele figure ostee 
que les auentures del roialnie 
de Logres ne commenche- 
ront a finer. Ore tai dit qui 
ie sui & comment iai a non 
mais . . . 


fol. 65d 

Or sachiez par uerite que 
ge ai non li Rois Rions 
dlrlande la Grant qui 
tient toute la terre iusqua 
la Terre des Pastures. & 
oltre fust ele moie encores 
se len i poist passer, mais 
nus ni passera iamais tant 
que La Laide Semblance 
sera ostee du flun que Iudas 
Machabeus i gita. & ce fu 
unes de ses bonnes por 
mostrer as genz que ius- 
quilec auoit la terre con- 
quise. & li ancien home 
dient que ia si tost la 
figure ne sera ostee que les 
auentures du roiaume de 
Logres comenceront. & si 
couendra que cil qui len 
gitera lemport u goufre de 
Sathenie. si que iamais ne 
soit ueue a nul ior. car ele 
est ditel maniere que tout 
ice couient a x perillier que 
ele uoit as elz. or tai dit 
qui ge suj. mais . . . 

fol. 120a, page 341 

I do the to wite that I 
am the kynge Rion of 
Iselonde, and of alle the 
londes vnto Pastures, and 
yet ferther yef a man 
myght ferther passe; but 
oon may neuer passe till 
that the lawes be broken 
that Iudas Makabeus ther 
sette, and as olde auncient 
seyn that thei shall neuer 
be hadde awey till the 
auentures begynne in the 
reame of Logres of the 
Seynt Graall, and it be- 
hoveth hym to caste to the 
portes of the goulf of 
Sathanye that it be neuer 
seyn after, ffor it is so of 
soche maner, that so it 
moste be fallen. Xow I 
haue tolde the what I 
am. But . . . 

A comparison of the three passages shows that only B has pre- 
served a passable version of Rion's answer as it must have occurred 
in the archetype. In A a few lines are omitted ; the translator of 
C has entirely misunderstood his original, with the result that his 
rendering is not intelligible. As to the passage itself I am of opinion 
that the compiler of Fragment I. made Rion the vehicle of these 
details, because he himself wished to refer to what he would tell 
later on, i.e. in Fragment II., 2 about La Laide Semblance. 

Seventhly, shortly before Artus vanquishes Rion, and conquers 
the giant's wonderful sword, he and three of his companions are very 
hard pressed by the Saxons and in great danger of being overpowered. 
One of Artus's companions is Adragais li Bruns, about whom the 
following passage is to be found in the Fragment I. : 

1 MS. ' apareillier.' 2 Conf. my edition, vol. vii. pp. 150-162. 



fol. 146a, ed. page 234 

& en ce quil se combatoit 
si auint que li rois Baufunies 
& li rois Maltaillies & li 
rois Minadap i soraindrent 
car li rois Artus & si troi 
compaignon les encauchie- 
rent moult durement. dont 
li vns des compaignons 
estoit Xasciens & li autres 
Adragans & li tiers Herui 
de Riuel. 

fol. 121b, ed. page 345 

And as thei thus fought en 
Com fleynge Maltaillyet and 
Balfinne, and the kynge 
Mahidrap full faste, ffor 
ther com thre knyghtes 
that hem chaced with grete 
spede, wherof that on was 
the kynge Arthur, and that 
other Nascien, and Adra- 
gayns li Brans, the brother 
of Madagot, the goode 
knyght of the Blake Yle 
Tournoye that Gawein, the 
nevew of kynge Arthur, 
after toke at Estremors, 
whan that he kepte in 
prison his cosin Galashin, 
that day that he wolde 
hym haue hanged vpon the 
walles of the town, in de- 
spite of kynge Arthur, be- 
fore his owne iyen, ffor 
that he hadde sege before 
town that he wolde haue 
take be strength, and for 
that the kynye hadde slain 
oon of his neve we s at a 
poynt, that hadde be by- 
fore the town, as this hoke 
shall tell yow more clerly 
hereafter, whan the meder 
cometh therto. The fourthe 
felowe that com after with 
these thre knyghtes was 
Hervy dc Rivell . . . 

A glance at these three quotations shows that while in A all traces 
of a reference to Fragment II. 1 are obliterated, and the bare name 
Adragan is given, both B and C state that the story will later on 
speak about Adragain, Galeschin, and Gawain, and in making this 
announcement they supply a passage of capital importance to the 

It is interesting to observe that the scribe of B, misunderstanding 
the MS. he copied, attributed to Madoc, Adragais' brother, what was 
said about that knight himself. B states that Adragais was incensed 
1 Conf. my edition, vol. vii. pp. 60-64, 69-73/ 

fol. 67a 

& en ce quil se comba- 
toient en tel maniere. atant 
es uos trois rois fuiant dom 
li uns fu Mautailleiz & li 
autres Baufumez & li tiers 
Mordrap que .iiij. che- 
ualiers enchaucoient dure- 
ment dom li uns estoit li 
rois Artus. & li autres Xas- 
ciens & li tiers Adragais. 
& li quart le frere Madoc 
le Noir le ton cheualier de 
VIsle Noire Tomoiant que 
Gauuenez le nies le roi 
Artu conquist puis a Estre- 
mores quant il tenoit en 
prison Galeschin son cousin 
le filz au roi Xeutre le ior 
quil le uost pendre a unes 
forches tres desoz les murs 
de la uile en despit du roi 
Artu uoiant ses elz. qui 
auoit mis son siege deuant 
la uile quil uoloit auoir a 
force. & por ce que li rois 
li auoit ocis tin suen cosin 
a une pointe qui fu deuant 
la uile. si com li contes uos 
cleuisera ca auant. 


against Artus for having invested Estremores and for having killed 
his cousin in an engagement before the walls of the town. C agrees 
with B in giving these two reasons, bnt states that Artus killed the 
nephew of Adragais. The whole episode alluded to here forms the 
subject of several laisses in Fragment II. Not Adragais but Raolais 
is, however, the name given to its principal figure, and he is styled 
' le Vermeil Chevalier d'Estremores } ; his brother is named Madoc or 
Mauduc le Noir de ITsle Noire ; and not Artus but Galeschin kills 
the nephew of the two brothers. Briefly this is what is told : Raolais 
has made a raid on ' le Chastel de Bedingan es marches de Tamelide ' 
and carried off much loot. Artus, on learning of these depredations, 
hastens with a host to punish Raolais and lays siege to Estremores. 
During a skirmish before the town Galeschin kills Plaares, the nephew 
of the brothers, but has the misfortune to be carried into the town 
through the open gate by his bolting horse and thus to become 
Raolais's prisoner. To avenge his nephew's death Raolais threatens 
to hang Galeschin, Artus's nephew, but is with some difficulty per- 
suaded to allow Gawain to fight for Galeschin's life. Gawain, 
following a boar too eagerly on the morning of the day appointed 
for the battle, is only enabled by the speed and endurance of his 
Gringalet to arrive in time for the duel. Raolais is vanquished and 
does Artus homage ; Galeschin is saved ; Madoc is disgusted with 
his brother for his submission to Artus and leaves the country. 

Besides pointing to the existence of a romance in which the events 
forming the subject of Fragments I. and II. were told, this passage 
shows that both are derived from versions of that work representing 
different stages in its evolution. The version forming the basis of 
Fragment II. is undoubtedly earlier than that from which Fragment I. 
is derived, although the rifacimento x filling/Vols. 115-294 of the MS. 
No. 337 is certainly later, dating in fact from a time when the Vulgate- 
Cycle had assumed its final shape, the one in which it has come down 
to our time in the MSS. of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth 
centuries. What makes the mention of Adragais le Brim and Madoc 
le Noir in this passage still more interesting is the fact that both are 
not only mentioned in the last third of the Yulg&te-M erlin, but also 
in Part I. of the Lancelot. 

1 To judge from several discrepancies in the narrative, existing in the part 
preceding the version of the Gospel of Nicodemus up to fol. 251b and the one 
following it, which I have noted in my edition on pp. 261, note 9, 262, note 3, 268, 
note 5, and 269, note 2, it is possible that the two parts are derived, if not from 
different versions, from different MSS. of the same version. 


OlKLUXUKJli <J-F -Lil- JL1V11J1/ UAJtlUfi 

In the last third of the Vulgate- Merlin we are told that one day 
three ' Chevaliers de la Koine Guenievre/ Sagremor, Galeschin, and 
Dodinel, ' sen alerent esbatre ' into the adventurous ' Forest de 
TEspine/ Three Companions of the Hound Table disguise themselves 
and also ride into that forest, ' si desiroient moult a trover des 
Chevaliers la Rome por els esprover les uns as autres/ One of these 
three knights is Agravadain. This name is here, as on various other 
occasions, erroneously written for Adragain or Adragais. Agravadain 
des Vals de Galore is not related to Agradais le Brim. The passage 
in the MSS. runs thus : 

fol. 188fc, ed. page 374 fol. 200a, ed. page 561 

Agravadains li freres Belias le Vermeil Agrauandain the brother of Belynans the 
Cheualier dEstremores qui puis guerroia I beste knyght dEstramors that after werred 
moult le roi Artu. the kynge Arthur. 

In Part I. of Le Livre de Lancelot (conf . my edition, vol. iii. page 46} 
the friar who speaks to the unhappy sisters — queens Elaine and 
Evaine — at the Moustier Royal and then proceeds to Great Britain 
and reproaches Artus with having neglected to succour his vassals 
kings Ban and Bohort, is named Adragais li Bruns li freres Mador 
le Noir le bon chevalier de Flsle Noire, and said to have been a brave 
knight of Uterpandragon. There is no doubt that, in spite of the 
confusion caused by the scribes of the MSS., Adragais is the same 
knight whom Artus besieged in Estremores and whom Gawain 

As both the Vulgate-Merlin and the Lancelot have the name 
Adragais or Adragain instead of Raolais, it is clear that the name in 
both cases is derived from a common source. If the version whence 
Fragment I. is derived is the same as that which formed the basis of 
the last third of the Vulgate-Merlin, and if both are later than the 
version from which Fragment II. descends, then the Lancelot must be 
later than that version. But on this point I shall speak later on. 

Eighthly, at the point which corresponds to the very end of 
Fragment I., after the description of the demeanour of Morgan and 
Guiomar, there occurs in the MSS. of the Vulgate-Merlin the follow- 
ing passage : 

A B c 

fol. 177c, ed. page 338 

Si sentracuellierent en 
moult grant amor. Car il 

fol. 115a 

Si sentraueillerent en si 
grant amor que puis dura 

fol. 181a, ed. page 509 

As thei that gretly it 
desired ; ffor yef he were 




molt longuement. & de- 
morerent ce soir ensemble, 
si demenerent en tel mani- 
ere lone tans lor amors 
entre Guiomar & Morgain 
conques nus ne sen aparcut 
fors solement la roine ensi 
com li conies le uos deuisera. 
par cui il furent puis departi 
dont Morgue enhai tant la 
roine que puis len fist assez 
de granz contraires & granz 
blasmes li aleua qui onques 
puis ne li chairent tant com 
ele uesqui . . . 

desirouse she was yet moclie 
more, so that thei loved 
hertely togeder longe tyme 
that noon it wiste ; but 
after it knewe the quene 
Gonnore as ye skull here 
telle, wherfore thei were de- 
parted, and therfore she 
hated the quene, and dide 
hir after gret annoye, and 
of blames that she areised 
that euer endured while hir 
lif lasted . . . 

lama & ele li plus, si de- 
morerent eel soir longement 
ensamble & sentramerent 
lonctans que nus ne le sot. 
Mais puis le sot la roine 
Genieure ensi comme li 
contes le vous deuisera cha 
auant par quoi il furent 
departi. dont Morgains 
lenhai si que puis li fist 
asses danui & de blasmes. 
si li esleua tel blasme que 
ainques puis ne li chai tant 
com ele uesqui. Mais atant 
sen taist li contes que plus 
nen parole chi endroit. 

As I have stated on page 16 supra, the passage No. 4 does not 
only refer to the one jnst quoted, describing the meeting of the lovers, 
but also to what is told in Fragment II. and in the Lancelot. 

A, B, and C agree in announcing that the story will later on tell 
how Guenever will discover the guilt of Morgan and Guiomar and 
put a stop to their liaison ; also that Morgan will ever after hate 
the queen and cause her trouble as long as she lives. 

Ninthly, after speaking of Sagremor's birth and parentage, Frag- 
ment II. and the MSS. containing its equivalent continue : 


fol. 114d, ed. page 132 

si lapeloient la gent Saigre- 
mor liquels fist puis mainte 
haute proece el roialme de 
Logres dont li contes vous 
deuisera cha auant. 

fol. 2 Id 

si lapeloient les genz par- 
son droit non Sagremoret. 
icist Sagremoret dont ge 
uos di fist puis mainte 
proesce u roiaume de Logres 
dont U contes uos parlera 
encore ca auant. 

fol. 63b, ed. page 186 

and his right name was 
Segramore. This Segra- 
mo're that I of speke dide 
afterwarde many high prow- 
esse in the reame of Logres 
wherof the tale shall declare 
yow hereafter. 


While Sagremor plays but a secondary part in Fragment I 
is the hero of a series of important adventures in Fragment II. 

So far the evidence I have to adduce from Fragment I. and 
MSS. of the YulgSite- Merlin in support of my assertion, that the con- 
tents of the MS. No. 337, if a chapter or two were intercalated between 
Fragments I. and II. accounting for Gawain's possession of his 
Gringalet, Eliezer's appearance as Gawain's squire, and the truce 
between Artus and the rebel kings, would form the torso of a romance 
we no longer possess. As Fragment I. has apparently undergone less 


OJ_ JA L Ul L, JAJJJ V7JL JU_LH JU1 \ JAJ_L< J_/ rA_±\. J. L. O 

drastical changes than Fragment II., 1 the former appears to be a 
truer rendering of its original equivalent than the latter. 

III. Allusions in Fragments I. and II. to persons, incidents, and 
adventures figuring in the continuation of Fragment II. missing from 
the MS. No. 337. The MS. No. 337 breaks off at the very beginning 
of a fresh adventure of Gawain in which he is said to hasten to the 
rescue of a knight and a damsel who are hotly pursued by three other 
knights. Two questions now naturally suggest themselves, viz. 
firstly. What was told in the continuation of the romance following 
Fragment II. ? and, secondly, Do Fragments I. and II. contain any 
statements or allusions helpful in answering the first question ? I 
am able to point to a number of such references. There are six from 
Fragment I. 

Firstly, in the same battle in which, as we have seen, Nascien 
distinguishes himself before all the other Companions of the Kound 
Table, the host of Leodegan consists of ten divisions. ' La premiere 
bataille ou li dragons estoit conduisoit li rois Artus & li rois Bans & 
li rois Bohors & li .xlij. compaignon & li chevalier de la Table Eoonde/ 
etc. Concerning the leader of the seventh division the MSS. say : 

fol. 140f, ed. page 218 

La setisme bataille niena 
Yder de la Terre as Xorois 
a qui la bele auenture auint 
en la court le roy Artu de 
.v. aniaus quil traist chi doi 
de la main al cheualier 
mort qui demandoit ven- 
gance que onques cheualier 
qui en la cort le roy Artu 
fust nel pot traire ne auoir 
si comme li contes voits 
ieuisera clia en auant. 

fol. 59d 

La setisme niena messire 
Yders de la Terre as Xorrois 
a cui la 2 bele auenture auint 
a la cort an roi Artu de .v. 
enniaus qui[l] traist hors 
des doiz du cheualier mort 
qui demandoit ueniance que 
onques cheualier qui fust a 
la cort ne pot f aire si com 
li contes le uos deuisera en 

fol. 112b, ed. page 321 



i th . bataile ledde 

Ydiers. of the londe of 
Xorwey, to whom the feire 
aventure fell in the courte 
of kynge Arthur of the .v. 
ringes that he drough oute 
of the deed knyghtes honde 
that asked vengaunce, that 
never knyght that was in 
that court myght haue, as 
the tale shall yow dedan 

All three MSS. are unanimous in stating that the story will later 

1 On fol. 282a (ed. page 273) occurs the passage : ' Ci endroit dit li contes que 
bant exploits messires Gauuain puis quil se fu partiz de Eliezer & il ot les .ix. che- 
aaliers desconfiz cv ocis les .iiij. qui lauoient assailli por ses armes & son clieual 
^aaignier que il uint au recet ou la suer Guinganbresill [manoit].' This adventure 
d( Gawain is not told in the text, must therefore have been omitted either accident- 
illy or intentionally, and this fact suggests the possibility that other adventures 
may have had the same fate, when the rifacimento was made. 

2 MS. ' ou.' 

o-Lrtu^_L \jsxhi yjr IjJL jui v xuii l> ahiuo 


on tell the adventure of the five rings, but it is neither told in Frag- 
ment I. nor in Fragment II. ; it is reasonable, therefore, to assume that 
it was told in the chapters that followed at the end of Fragment II., 
which we no longer possess. 

Secondly, in the battle which arises out of King Loth's attempt 
to seize Guenever, when Artus, accompanied by Ban, Bohort, the 
Companions of the Round Table, and a large suite, leads his newly 
wedded wife to his own country, Gawain and Kex are said to arrive 
with eighty knights of Logres at the critical moment. The romancer 
profits by this opportunity to pass some remarks on the character of 
Artus's seneschal, and winds up with the following passage : 


fol. 170f, ed. page 316 

Mais loiaus cheualiers es- 
toit uers son signor & enuers 
la roine iusqua la mort. 
Ne onques en sa uie ne fist 
traison cune seule. & cele 
fu de Loholt le fils au roy 
Artu que il ochist par enuie 
en la Forest Perilleuse. & 
par Perceual le Galois en fu 
acuses a court ensi comme 
vns ermites li conta qui li 
auoit ueu ochire. 

fol. 104d 

Mais loiaus cheualier estoit 
uers son segneur. & uers 
la roine & toz iors le fu 
iusqua la mort. ne onques 
en sa uie ne fist traison que 
une sole, ce fu de Lohout 
le fil clu roi Artus que il 
ocist par enuie en la grant 
Forest Perilleuse. einsi com 
li contes le iios deuisera ca 
auant moult loing. quant la 
matire mi amerra. Mais 
tant en dit ore li contes ici 
endroit que par Perceual le 
Galois en fu il acusez x a 
cort. issi com li hermit es 
le reconta a la cort qui li 
auoit ueu ochre. 

fol. 168b, ed. page 475 

But a trewe knyght was he 
euer agein his lorde, and 
agein the queene, oner in 
to the ende of his deth. 
Xe neuer in all his live 
dide he treson saf oon, and 
that was of Lohoot the 
sone of kynge Arthur that 
he slough for enuye in the 
Foreste Perilouse, and for 
that Percevale ly Galoys 
was accused with grete 
wronge for the deth of the 
same [Lo]hoot, like as an 
Ermyte hit tolde after that 
hadde sevn all the dede. 

The purport of this passage is the same in A, B, and C, but the 
translator of C blunders at the end bv stating that Perceval was 
accused of having killed Lohot, as a hermit had declared that he had 
seen the deed with his own eyes, instead of stating that Perceval 
accused Kex, etc. While in A and C every trace of a reference to 
a future account of this incident is effaced, B not only states that the 
story will later on speak of it, but adds ' moult loing/ a term which 
seems to indicate that the story ' which will tell later on ' was of 
inordinate length. 

Thirdly, after defeating the rebel kings with the help of his allies 
Ban and Bohort, Artus rests for a while. At this time he makes the 

1 MS. ' acuser.' 

acquaintance of the beautiful Lisanor, the daughter of Count Sevain 
' par le conseil de Merlin/ With regard to this incident the MSS. 
state : 


fol. 112c, ed. page 124 

Et si tost comme li rois 
Artus vit la pucele si li plot 
moult & fist tant par Merlin 
quil parla a lui seul a seul 
& quil iurent vne nuit 
ensamble. & illuec fu en- 
gendres Lohot qui puis fu 
boins chevaliers & .j. des 
compaignons de la Table 
Roonde. Et quant . . . 

fol. 58a, ed. page 171 

fol. 17d 

Et si tost com li rois la uit 
si li plot molt & il li. si fist 
tant li rois par Merlin qui] 
parla a luj seul a seul. & 
iurent ensemble une nuit 
& plusors tant com au roi 
sist. si fu le premier soir 
quil hit a luj engendez 
Lohoz qui puis fu uns des 
bons cheualiers quil coue- 
nist a querre en nule terre. 
& fu puis des compaignons 
de la Table Reonde. icist i 
fist puis maintes proesces I 
es auentures qui lone tens 
durerent. si com li contes le j 
uos dira ca auant. mais 
quant . . . 

This passage clearly indicates that the adventures of Lohot must 
have been told somewhere in the continuation of Fragment II. 

Fourthly, at the point where Artus's indiscretion with his own 
sister, the wife of King Loth, and the conception of Mordret are told, 
occurs in the MSS. the following passage : 


And so be the helpe of 
Merlin he spake with her 
previly, and lay with her a 
nyght, and that nyght vpon 
her was begeten Hoot, that 
after was a full noble 
knyght, and was also 
a felowe of the Rounde 
Table. This Hoot was of 
right high prowesse, as ye 
shirfl heren hereafter . . . 

fol. 113e, ed. page 129 

si auint que li baron orent 
prins iournee de uenir a 
court & de parler ensamble 
a la crois noire, si auint le 
soir eleuant . . . 

fol. 20b 

si auint un ior que li baron 
orent pris ior de parler en- 
semble a la croiz noire. & 
ce porquoi ele~fu apelee la 
croiz noire ce uos deuisera 
bien li contes ca en auant es 
cheualeries des cheualiers de 
la Table Reonde. car li leus 
nen est ore mie. A cele croiz 
que ie uos di mistrent ior 
li baron dassembler un mein 
bien mein, si auint le soir 
deuant . . . 

fol. 61b, ed. page 180 

Hit fill that the barouns 
hadde take a counseile for 
to speke togeder at the 
blak crosse. And whi it 
was cleped the blake crosse 
ye shall here herafter, and the 
ii< oik s of the Knyghtes of the 
Rounde Table, but yet the 
tyme is not come to syelce 
therof more. At this crosse 
the barouns toke a day for 
to assemble erly on a 
morowe ; and so it fill that 
on the nyght before . . . 

In A this passage is curtailed. B and C agree in referring the 
reader to a later explanation of the reason why this cross was called 



black. In Lestoire del Saint Graal (vol. i. of my edition, pages 244- 
246), when the treachery of Agrestes, a former king of Camaaloth, 
is spoken of, a cross is mentioned which turned black from the blood 
of the martyrs spilled upon it. The same account, slightly shortened, 
is reproduced in Part II. of the Lancelot (vol. iv. pages 321-322). 

Fifthly, when the rebellious barons, after their defeat, had held a 
council of war at Sorhaut, they left that city one after another to 
return to their countries and defend them against the Saxons. The 
second to leave Sorhaut is the King of Norgales, concerning whom 
the MSS. state : 

fol. 114c, ed. page 131 note 4 

& apres lui sen parti de 
la cite de Sorhaut li rois 
Tradelmans . . . 

si se desfendi des Sesnes 
au miex que il pot qui 
moult li greuerent par 
deuers le chastel que Caruile 
la suer Hardogobran tenoit 
en sa baillie ne celui trespas 
ne porrent li trois roy tolir 
aus Sesnes pour pooir que 
il eussent ancois lor venoit 
viande et secours par ce 
chastel qui tant estoit fort 
que riens mesfaire ni pooit 
et par lenchantement dont 
Caruile sauoit tant conques 
nule f enime nen sot tant f ors 
que Morgain la suer le roy 
Artus. et Viuiane que 
Merlins ania tant quil li 
aprist toutes les merueiles 
dou nionde que li contes 
uous deuisera ca a mint 
quant ma matere mi aportera 
et par ce chastel dont uous 
oez parler orrent li Sesne 
tout le recouurier et tout 
le secours dou pays, pour- 
quoi il ne pouoient estre 
iete de la terre tant que li 
roys Artus les en ieta et li 


fol. 21C 

Apres se parti de Sorhan la 
cite li rois Tradelinanz de 
Norgales . . . Car li 
trespas estoit ilec a la 
Roche as Saines dont il 
estoient molt greue ... si 
se desfendi des Saisnes au 
mielz quil pot. qui molt le 
greuerent par le chastel que 
Kanille la suer Argada- 
brant tenoit en sa baillie. 
ne ce trespas ne poient 
onques li roi tolir as Saines 
por pooir que il eussent. 
encois lor uenoit uiande & 
secors par eel chastel qui 
tant estoit forz que mis 
forfaire ni pooit. & si ni 
auoit forteresce nule de 
pierre ne de quarrel fors 
que de lair dont il estoit 
si fermez que nule rien 
forfaire ni pooit & par 
enchantement dont Kanille 
sauoit tant quainz nule 
dame tant nen sot fors que 
Morguein la suer du roi 
Artus & fille Y gut-erne que 
Merlin ama tant. a cui il 
aprist a eles deus toute la 
merueille du mont que li 
contes uos deuisera ca auant 
quant ma matire mi amarra. 
& par eel chastel dont uos 
moez parler orent li Saisne 

fol. 63a, b, ed. page 185 

After that departed the 
kynge Tradylyuans of 
Northwales fro the cite of 
Sorhant . . . ffor the 
passages wer ther to go to 
the Roche as Saisnes where- 
of they were sore anoyed 
and greved. . . . And so 
he hym defended the beste 
wyse that he myght, and 
moche he hem greved to- 
ward the Castell that Car- 
nyle, the suster of Hardo- 
gabran kepte in her baillye. 
Ne that passage ne myght 
not these thre kynges kepe 
for . no power that thei 
hadden ; but after that 
ther com soccour be that 
wey to the Saisnes of 
vitaile and of men be that 
castell that was stronge, 
and by the enchauntment 
of Carnile that moste cowde 
of that art, but yef it were 
Morgain, the suster of kynge 
Arthur, and Nimiane that 
Merlin dide love so moche, 
that he taught here alle 
the merveiles of the worlde 
as this boke shall declare yow 
hereafter. And by that 
Castell whereof I speke 
hadde the Saisnes all her 
recouerer and all her socour 

Clapor le Riche la niece Meleager le Rous tells Eliezer, Gawain's 
squire, that his master ' sen uoist uers la Cite Sans Non/ while, 
according to the text, he is on his way to Tile Tornoiant to join Artus, 
Xeutres, Urien, and Ydier. It is of course impossible to explain these 
discrepancies, but they corroborate the announcement that Gawain 
was, in the continuation of Fragment II., in some way connected with 
the Cite Sans Non. 

I can also point to two passages in Fragment II. indicating events 
to be told in its continuation. I feel sine I should be able to point 
to many more if the MS., which had not yet been influenced by the 
Lancelot and formed the basis of the rifacimento, were available. 

Firstly, on fol. 186 (my ed. page 132) a brilliant court is spoken 
of which Artus holds. The various personages who attend it are 
enumerated : ' mes Gosangos ni uint mie car il estoit dolenz de ses 
amis que messires Gauuain auoit bleciez & ... si en fu la roine 
molt dolente en son cuer ... & d'autre part est molt dolente de 
son pere . . . que malades gisoit ... & nequedent si ne fu elle mie 
tant dolente de son pere quant il ni uint come de Gosangos a cui ele 
auoit samor promise & lama molt uolentiers sil i uolsist entendre. 
& neporquant si en fist ele tant tel ior fit que lamor fust enterine se ne 
fast messires Gauuain qui les troua ensemble qui les departi apres ce 
que Gosangos fu deuenuz des compaignons de la Table Roonde. & en 
fu granz la meslee entreiis deus quant les apaierent li convpaignon de 
la Table Roonde. mais or se taist atant li contes ..." 

The incident alluded to in this passage is not told in Fragment II. ; 
it must therefore form the subject of some chapter in its continuation 
we do no longer possess. The passage, as well as some earlier ones, 
suggests that that Gosangos was Guenever's lover before and after 
she married Artus. 

Secondly, on his way to the Chastel d'Orofoise, to free the 
countess of that name from the attentions of a giant that were 
repugnant to her, Artus has an adventure with a lioness. He 
saves her cub from being strangled by two serpents. Both animals 
are said to be very grateful, and, one day. richly repay the king for 
this kind action, ' einsi com li contes le uos deuisera ca auant quant 
leus sera quar li leus ni est ore mie que len le doie retraire ' (fol. 234c, 
ed. p. 218). We do not learn anywhere under what circumstances 
the lioness and her cub demonstrated their gratitude to Artus, and 
may therefore, rightly, assume that an account of this second 
meeting between the king and the two animals formed part of the 

DlllUVjlUIVJi Ul 1 UAH -Ul V ±\AH ±J 2\SXJL\JO OL 

chapters which one clay followed those forming the end of 
Fragment II. 

It is clear from the evidence I have adduced that the lost con- 
tinuation of Fragment II. must have contained at the very least 
accounts of the following : First, adventures of Lohot that led 
to his becoming a companion of the Round Table. Second, 
the reasons why the point, where King Loth met his allies, w T hile 
Artus begat Mordret, was called la Croiz Noire. Third, the 
Conquest of La Roche as Saisnes by Artus with the help of the 
brother-kings Ban and Bohort. Fourth, the adventure of the 
five rings which Yder de la Terre as Norois drew from the dead 
knight's finger. Fifth, a quest of Gawain by Meraugis, in the 
course of which he came to the Chastel Tornoiant, and Gawain's 
connection with la Cite Sans Non. Sixth, the circumstances which 
led to Lohot's death by the hand of Kex in the Forest Perilleuse. 
Seventh, the completion of Gawain's adventure beginning on fol. 
294, col. cl of the MS. No. 337. Eighth, the doings of Guenever 
and Gosangos. Ninth, an adventure of Artus, in which, being 
in danger of losing his life, he was saved by the lioness or her cub 
or by both. All the rest, and that apparently not a little, we are 
left to conjecture, unless, a not very likely eventuality, a MS. is 
unearthed somewhere, to demonstrate the reality. 

IV. The romance indicated in sections I., II., and III., and 
the Joseph- Lancelot- Perceval-Cycle. Three passages, one from 
Fragment I. with its equivalents in the MSS. A and C, two from 
Fragment II., which accidentally and opportunely escaped the 
attention of the assembleurs, and survived in the MSS. to this 
day because they had become meaningless to later scribes, demon- 
strate that the romance I have so far reconstructed figured already 
as a link between Robert de Borron's Merlin and the Lancelot 
when the passage : x & le grant conte cle Lancelot couuient repairier 
en la fin a Perceual qui est chies en la fin de toz les contes as autres 
cheualiers & tuit sont branches de lui por ce quil acheua la grant 
queste. Et li contes de Perceual meismes est une branche del 
haut conte del graal qui est chiez cle tout les contes. Car por le 
graal se traueillent tuit li bon cheualier dont Ian parole de celui 
tans/ had still a raison d'etre in the latter, in other words in the 

1 In the MS. No. 751 of the Bibliotheque Nationale, fol. 144, col. c, and in the 
MS. Lansdowne 757, fol. 164, col. a. in the British Museum. 

Joseph- Lancelot- Perceval-Cycle, of which, as far as I have been 
able to ascertain, the MS. No. 748 is the only known relic. 1 But 
to return to the three passages : 

Firstly, when the rebel kings after their defeat by Artus, Ban, 
and Bohort, and last, not least, through Merlin's strategy, reach 
Sorhaut, they learn that the Saxons have invaded their territories. 
They hold a council ' en la grant sale au roy Urien/ King Bran- 
goires, who addresses them first, explains the reasons why they can 
hope for no assistance from Kings Leodegan, Pelles,' Pellinor, and 
Alain. The passage referring to the three last-named brothers 
runs in the MSS. thus : 

fol. 112d, ed. page 125 

Xe par decha du roy Pelles - 
de Listenois natendons nous 
nul secors. car il garde le 
roy Pel[l]inor son frere qui 
gist malades dun mal dont 
iatnais naura garison tant 
que cil vendra laiens qui 
les auentures du Saint 
Graal met era a fin., ne del 
roy Alain qui gist malades 
natendons nous nul secors 
deuant ce que li mieudres 
clieualiers del moncle uiegne 
a lui & li demant dont cele 
ma la die li vint & quel chose 
li Graaus est [&] que len 
sert . . . 

fol. 18b 

Xe par deca du roi Pelles 
de Listenois natendons nos 
nul secors car il garde le 
roi Pellinor son frere qui 
gist malades dun mahaig 
quil a dont il naura iamais 
garison tant que cil uendra 
laienz qui les auentures du 
Seint Graal doit mener a 
fin. ne du roi Alein lor frere 
qui gist malades qui ne 
garra tant que li mieldres 
clieualiers des Bretons li 
aura demande porcoi il ot 3 
ceste maladie & quex chose 
li Graals est & cui en se[r]t. 

fol. 58b, ed. page 173 

Xe the kynge Pelles of 
Lytenoys, for he kepeth the 
kynge Pellynor his brother 
that lyeth sekc, of which 
se[k]nesse he shall neuer be 
heled till he come that shall 
brynge to ende the auen- 
tures of the Seint Graal. 
Xe of the kynge Alain, his 
brother, that lith in seke- 
nesse, and shall neuer be 
warisshed till the beste 
knyght of alle Bretouns 
come and aske hym why 
he hath that maladye, and 
what thinge sholde be hys 
helpe . . . 

This passage, as will be seen by a comparison of the three columns, 
is nearly identically worded in the three MSS. — in fact in many 
others also — of very different pedigree, except that the translator 
of C has rendered the second question ( and how he can be cured 
of this malady/ This agreement is a proof that the passage has 
not been tampered with and preserved its original form. But 

1 The Joseph from this MS. about which I have spoken a good deal on former 
occasions, and which I consider from a critical point of view important, is printed 
by E. Hucher in his Le Saint Graal, etc., 3 vols., Le Mans, 1874-1878, 8vo. I have 
had the Merlin from this MS. photographed some years ago. and prepared an 
edition of it. If I am spared I may some day publish it, together with Part I. of 
the MS. No. 337, of which I also possess a transcript ready for Press by my own 

2 MS., ' Penes.' :5 MS., ' lot.* 


there is one point which, insignificant as it may appear, makes all 
the difference : ' cles Bretons * in B and C is replaced by ' du monde ' 
in A. Now Galahad was never styled by the French romancers, 
to whom he owed his very existence, ' le meilleur chevaliers des 
Bretons'; he was ' le meilleur chevalier du monde/ Perceval was 
the best knight of the Britons, and it was part of his task in the 
quest of the Grail to go to the maimed fisher-king and ask him the 
two questions given above, while no such condition was imposed 
on Galahad the son of Lancelot. 

Secondly, another passage occurs on fol. 194a (p. 147 of my 
edition of the MS. No. 337), and is, in slightly modified terms, but 
a repetition of the first-named. It runs thus : 

' Ge ne die mie que autre cheualier preu & uaillant ne uoient 
assez de ses miracles mais li pechie mortel ou il gerront & gisent lor 
toudra si la clarte des elz & du cuer que quant il le uerront nu conoist- 
ront ne riens nen demanderont. ne li rois Alains ne li rois Pellinor 
(written : Pelletor), ne li rois Pellinor ne garront de lor plaies tant 
que li chevaliers gise en lor ostel & ait demande cui len sert du 
Saint Graal & ia si tost ne laura demande que cil ne soit gariz chies 
cui il le demandera/ 

Thirdly, the following passage occurs on fol. 183a (eel. p. 127), 
and runs thus : 

' Car le cors meismes Merlin qui dels estoit estrait uostrent il 
torner a destruction par une fame a cui il se deduisoit & si nen 
auoit sanz plus que le pense. k por ce que nostre sires na cure de 
deht de cors laissa il son cors martire soufrir & endurer por ce que 
il li auoit mostree la droite uoie. mais ne uost mie perdre lesperit 
quil auoit en lui mis por les granz biens que il auoit fait a son pueple 
tant com il fu en son demaine pooir. si envoia un suen seriant chaste 
& leial <& chier en terre a luj desprisoner qui fu de la lignie Dauid le 
bon roi comme li contes le uos devisera ca avant se dex done tant a 
maistre Gautier Mape qui[l] le puisse translater du latin ou il le 
trueue en romanz par la proiere au bon roi Henri qui tant len a 

If one compares the words printed in italics with the passage 
found in the Lancelot MS. 754, fol. 14 col. b, of the Bibliotheque 
Nationale, ' tant que Perleuax Ian traist et gita hors qui vit la grant 
merueille del graal apres la mort de Lohot [MS., Lancelot] x si 

1 Lohot for Lancelot is E. Brugger's suggestion. Conf. page 41, note 1. 


com li contes vos deuisera ca auant/ one cannot be in clonbt as 
to who the ' seriant chaste et leial - is. 

In order to realise how careless the scribes were and how little 
they knew of the romances, it is well to compare these two passages 
with the one I quoted on p. 31, and with the remarks found on 
fol. 249 cols, a and b (ed. p. 243) by the same man who wrote the 
passage quoted from fol. 183a : 

' & son petit fill Perceval l qui na encore que an & demi/ and 
' par ce que tu as mescreu mes miracles que ge demostroie par 
cest pais por ce sera tes filz Perceual reusez davoir le Graal en sa 
garde j usque apres la mort au fill de la fille le roi Pelles car se tes 
pechiez ne fust de ce que mescreu as tes filz leust auant en garde/ 

V. Conclusions to be drawn from the facts established in sections 
I. to IV. The beginning and the end of the romance I call Le Lime 
d'Artns. By the evidence I have adduced so far, I think I may 
reasonably claim to have satisfied the most captious critic that I am 
not theorising but dealing with facts, and to have convincingly 
demonstrated that there existed at one time a huge compilation 2 
(with the additions and omissions I have described), of considerably 
more than twice the size of the link between Robert de Borron's 
Merlin and the Lancelot in the Vulgate-Cycle, and that a not 
inconsiderable part of this compilation figured already in the cycle 
from which the Vulgate-Cycle sprang. This romance or compila- 
tion, which I claim to have reconstructed and recalled from oblivion, 
is Le Lime d'Artus, forming the subject of the present monograph. 

While I have so far been able to base my demonstration solely 
on concrete facts, I shall have henceforth to resort also to hypothesis. 

When I consider my Livre d'Artus in its entirety, I come to the 
conviction that, such as I have reconstructed it so far, it is like a 
body without a head and without feet. I clearly recognise that it 
cannot possibly have begun with the events told on the first leaves 
of the MS. No. 337, and not one of the adventures I have enumerated 
in section III. can have formed its end. I am therefore logically 
and naturally driven to the conclusion that in its original form 
Le Lime d'Artus began with the reign of Uterpandragon or even 
earlier, related Artus's birth and life to his accession, and ended 

1 Conf. my notes in vol. vii. pp. 146 and 147 concerning the ages of Perceval 
in the Perceval-Quest and in the Vulgate-Cycle. 

2 Conf. supra, p. 33. 

with his death. In other words, its opening chapters dealt with 
the same events as Robert de Borron's Merlin, while a Mort Artus, 
such e.g. as is found in the so-called Didot- Perceval, filled its con- 
cluding ones. Robert de Borron's Merlin, which the assembleurs 
have prefixed to the Vulgate-ik/er^n, or more correctly to which 
the assembleurs have appended the Yulg&te- Merlin, cannot be 
considered to form a proper early history of what is told in the 
opening chapters of Le Livre d' Artus, so much is shown beyond a 
doubt by a series of contradictions and discrepancies which already 
Paulin Paris recognised, without, however, being able to explain 
their cause. I will not recapitulate these anomalies here, for they 
are well known, but I will show by two quotations that in the early 
history which Le Livre d' Artus postulates, the brother kings Ban 
and Bohort, whom Robert de Borron does not mention at all, must 
have already been the vassals and allies of Artus's father, King 
Uterpandragon : 

Firstly, when Merlin has advised Artus to invite Ban and Bohort 
to come to him, Artus commissions Bretel and Ulfin to carry his 
invitation to la Petite Bretaigne. The following passage explains 
why these two knights are chosen : 


fol. 104c, ed. page 98 

Et cil (Bretel and Ulfin) 
qui moult estoient bien 
des .ij. rois (Ban and 
Bohort) qui laloient querre 
car moult sestoient entrame 
au tans le ro}' Vterpan- 
dragon passerent la mer . . . 

fol. 4c 

Et cil qui molt estoient 
bien des deus rois & maintes 
foiz auoient eu afaire en- 
semble & molt sestoient 
entrame de lone tens si 
passerent oltre la mer . . . 

fol. 41a. ed. page 124 

For these two knyghtes 
were well aqueyntid with 
these two kynges that thei 
wente to seche, for moehe 
thei togeder loveden, and 
well were aqueynted in the 
tyme of Vterpendragon. 
And they passed ouer the 

Secondly, in a long but fruitless war which Uterpandragon is 
said to have waged upon King Amant, because the latter refused 
to recognise his suzerainty, he conquered the fine Castle de la 
Charroie. To this incident refers the following passage : 
A B C 

fol. 123b, ed. page 350 

But Vterpandragon greved 

hyui sore with his werre and 
conquered vpon hym a 
Castell that was stronge 
and riche, and was clepede 

fol. 147c, ed. page 23S 

Mes toutes uoi[e]s les greua 
tant li rois Vterpandragon 
quil conquist sor lui .j. 
moult riche castel qui estoit 
apeles Charroie. . . . Icel 

fol. 68c 

Mais toutes uoies le greua 
il tant quil conquist sor luj 
un molt riche chastel qui 
auoit non Charroc. . . . Ice 
chastel dona au roi Bohorz 

chastel douna li roi Vter- 
pandragon au roy Bohort 
de Gaunes a lui & a ses hoirs 
& toute la seignorie ... & 
si tost comme li rois Bohors 
lot en sa baillie si le douna 
a Guinebant son frere a 
garder qui moult estoit 
boins clers & sages & as 
amies preus & hardis & ses 
maistres estoit. si en fu 
moult dolans li rois Amans. 

de Gaunes li rois Uters a 
son uiuant a luj & a ses 
hoirs & tote la segnorie car 
molt li auait ualu & aidie 
tant com il fu uis a guer- 
roier ses anemis. & si tost 
come li rois lot eu en sa 
baillie si le bailla a Guine- 
baut son frere a garder qui 
molt estoit bons clers & 
sages & preuz as armes se 
mestier fust & hardiz si en 
fu molt dolenz li rois Amanz. 

Carroie. . . . This Castell yaf 
Vterpendragon to the kynge 
Boors of Gannes in his lyve 
to hym and to his heires all 
the lordship, and as soone 
as the kynge Bohors hadde 
it in his bailie he yaf it to 
Guynebant, his brother, 
that was a goode clerke and 
a wise, and at armes wight 
and hardy yef nede were, 
and therfore was the kynge 
Amaunt angry. 

I clo not think there can be any doubt that Le Livre d'Artus, 
as it appears in the MS. No. 337, was preceded by another early 
history than Robert de Borron's Merlin, one which we no longer 
possess, some fragments of which may have accidentally survived. 
I think it is both possible and probable that the account of Merlin's 
birth intercalated in the Lancelot MS. No. 754 at the Bibliotheque 
Nationale is based on this early history, and the same may be said 
of a passage in the MS. No. 748 describing the last war of Uterpan- 
dragon before he died. 

And, granted that another early history preceded the events 
told at the beginning of Le Livre d'Artus, it is not unreasonable to 
assume that a Mort Artus ended it. This Mort Artus may be the one 
which formed the source of Huchown's metrical" version, or it may 
have been independently derived from Geoffrey of Monmouth's 
Historia Britonum. 

The knowledge that such a huge Livre d'Artus ever existed, 
completely at variance as it is with what has hitherto been accepted 
by scholars as probable or correct, constitutes a greater progress 
in the critical exploration of the Arthurian romances than has been 
achieved in the last fifty years, and will necessitate the re-writing 
of a chapter of French mediaeval literature. The existence of 
such a Livre d'Artus is compatible with the views — and indeed 
confirms their soundness — which I have briefly expressed on the 
genesis of the Vulgate-Cycle in my Introduction to The Vulgate 
Version of the Arthurian Romances, and which, owing probably 
to their conciseness and heterodox character, do not seem to 
have attracted the attention they deserve. Le Livre d'Artus 
enables me to set forth more precisely and to substantiate, so 

mi as tins is pussiuie, iny nieuij' un liic genesis ui ±jv uvvrv uz, 


VI. Le Livre d 'Artus was the stock on which Le Livre de Lancelot 
was grafted, a considerable portion of which it has gradually absorbed. 
Although the relationship between the Lancelot and Le Livre 
a" Artus must obviously be quite another than that existing between 
the Lancelot and Fragments I. and II., it is necessary to know the 
latter in order to determine the former. The opinion which Gaston 
Paris expressed in 1878 in his Introduction to the Huih- Merlin, 
' Quand on examine ce roman [the Yu\g&te-Merliri] avec attention 
on voit qu'il a ete compose apres le Roman de Lancelot pour le 
preparer, et pour servir de transition entre le Merlin de Robert de 
Borron et le Lancelot . . . (Test cette lacune que s'est propose de 
combler Tauteur du Livre d'Artus ; il Ta fait, soit en developpant des 
indications du Lancelot, soit en reprenant dans Gaufrei de Monmouth 
ou dans le Perceval de Robert, soit en compliant des recits de proven- 
ance diverse/ and which held the field ever since it appeared in 
print till I challenged it in 1908 in my Introduction, is now proved 
to be untenable. Already in 1908 I had recognised that the 
Lancelot was posterior in date to Fragment II. plus the last third 
of the Ynlg&te- Merlin not found in the MS. No. 337, and that there- 
fore the latter cannot be a development of indications found in the 
former. I do not think I can do better than to recapitulate the main 
points of my argumentation. A comparison of the Yulg&te- Merlin 
with the Lancelot reveals that, in spite of many artificially created 
agreements and interpolated references, there is no unity of time 
in the two romances ; for in the former, Ban and Bohort, the two 
brother-kings and allies of Artus, are in the prime of manhood ; 
vigorous and brave, they take an active part in Artus's battles 
and perform personally prodigies of valour and endurance. They 
are for the last time mentioned as joining Artus's host in the war 
against the Romans (told toward the end of the Yulg&te-M erlin), 
which takes place at least several years after Artus's marriage. 
In the opening chapter of the latter, Ban and Bohort are described 
as old and decrepit men ; their sons, Lancelot, Bohort, and Lionel, 
were born to them in their old age. There is no mention of their 
helping Artus in his wars : they are said to have been the vassals 
of Uterpandragon, and only paid Artus a brief visit to do him 
homage as their new liege lord on the occasion of his coronation, which 

There has been no secrecy about Artus 's birth, and he is said to have 
succeeded his father when hardly more than a boy. As the visit 
of Claudas in disguise to Great Britain, told in the seventh laisse, 
is expressly stated to take place very shortly after Artus's accession, 
and only five or seven months after his marriage with Guenever, 
and as this visit is timed after the death of Ban and Bohort, the one 
related in the third, the other reported in the fourth laisse, the two 
brother-kings cannot have long survived their return from Great 
Britain. ' In the Vulgate- Merlin the marriage of Artus and 
Guenever takes place at Carohaise in Carmelide, at the court of 
King Leodegan, Archbishop Dubrice officiating, the same who in 
Robert's Merlin anoints and crowns Artus. In the Lancelot the 
wedding is celebrated at St. Stephen's, London, by the archbishop 

' The account of what takes place on the night of the wedding at 
Carohaise in the Vulgate- Merlin flatly contradicts what, according 
to the Lancelot, takes place on the day following the ceremony in 
London. The attempted abduction of Artus's wedded wife and the 
substitution for her of Leodegan's natural daughter, prevented 
only by Merlin's knowledge and forethought, and the subsequent 
identification by Leodegan of his legitimate daughter Guenever, 
by means of " lensegne de la corone sour les rains," causes the account 
in the Lancelot to appear ridiculous and improbable. It is difficult 
to imagine that the attempt to ravish his bride on the night of the 
wedding was kept secret from Artus ; it is still more unlikely that 
Artus, her husband, should, after having been married some time, 
have ignored the means by which their father was able to distinguish 
the true from the false Guenever, nor that such an important birth- 
mark should have disappeared, after it had existed from the moment 
of her birth to the wedding-day of the legitimate Guenever. The 
Vulgate- Merlin cannot possibly have been specially written for its 
purpose, so much is clear. Such anomalies as do exist between this 
romance and the Lancelot can be explained only by the assumption 
that the Vulgate- Merlin represents the clumsy and careless adapta- 
tion of some earlier work ; otherwise its writer would have studiously 
avoided to mention circumstances which render what followed 
improbable and absurd. There is not the least allusion to the birth- 
mark in the Lancelot, though in an apparently later interpolation 
the incident at Carohaise is mentioned in contradiction to the former 

U-uenever took place m .London. . . . Many more points may be 
urged against the hypothesis that the Vulgate- Merlin is a develop- 
ment of indications in the Lancelot. One of the most conclusive 
and convincing is the fact that a number of incidents are told at 
much greater detail in the Vulgate- Merlin than in the Lancelot, 
its alleged source. The conception of Hector des Mares, the natural 
brother of Lancelot, is a case in point ; the account of Leodegan, 
the father of Guenever, is another. It is difficult to comprehend 
that the mere mention of Leodegan in the letter which the false 
Guenever sends to Artus and the little said about him in the sixty- 
fifth laisse can be indications from which all that is said about that 
king in the Vulgate-Merlin is developed. Granted even that the 
writer of the Vulgate- Merlin had adopted the irrational and un- 
common course of starting to build his house from the roof down- 
wards, i.e. to write an early history of the persons and incidents in 
the Lancelot by taking as his starting-point what is said about them 
in this romance, it would still be incomprehensible why he should 
have done so at variance rather than in harmony with his source/ 

And what I have said of the Vulgate-Merlin, i.e. about Fragment I. 
plus the section which is not found in the MS. No. 337, applies in a 
still higher degree to Fragment II., which was also adjusted to the 
Vulgate- Cycle, but apparently at a considerably later date. Frag- 
ment II. contains a larger number of episodes which form as it were 
the preliminary or early history of corresponding episodes in the 
Lancelot. I am referring to what is said about La Dolereuse Garde, 
the conquest of which forms so prominent a feature in Part II. of 
the Lancelot ; about the achievements and actions of Galebot le fils 
a la bele Iaiande ; about the misfortune of Alier ; about Groadain 
the dwarf and his niece, and Gawain, who in the Lancelot fights 
against Segurades who molests the lady of Roestoc with his attentions. 
I am thinking of Karacados and his brothers, one of whom was 
killed by Gawain, another by Driant le Gai, the brother of Meliant 
le Gai, both sons of Trabant le Gai ; about Karacados' mother and 
Meliant's sweetheart and the establishment of the Dolerous Tower : 
about Guiomar and Morgan, and the establishment of the Val San; 
Eetour ou des Faux Amants ; about Escalon le Tenebreux ; about 
what is told concerning la Chauciee Norgaloise ; about the con- 
struction of the Pont d'Espee and the Pont Perdu ou Sous liaue, 
etc., etc. It would far transgress the limits of the present mono- 

as they are iouncl m the two romances : l will only state that such a 
study discloses a similar variation in their data as that shown to 
exist in the account of the events on Artus's wedding-day I have 
discussed above. 

If, therefore, the Lancelot does not, and cannot, form the basis of 
or be the source of Fragment I. plus its continuation in the Vulgate- 
Cycle and of Fragment II., both must have been written before this 
romance, or both and the Lancelot must have been derived from a 
common earlier source. And, as I have demonstrated that Frag- 
ments I. and II. represent considerable portions of Le Livre d'Artus, 
it follows — for what applies to the parts must also apply to the whole 
— i.e. that Le Livre d'Artus must be anterior to the Lancelot and 
be its basis or source, or both must have a common source. The 
extremely scanty material which has survived to our days renders 
it almost impossible to trace a common source if there ever was one, 
but I do not think there is any necessity for assuming the existence 
of one. If it were possible to compare Le Livre d'Artus in its original 
form with the Lancelot, as it is known to us in the Vulgate- Cycle, 
such a comparison would disclose, on the one hand, many discre- 
pancies and not a few anomalies, on the other a great many more 
features common to both. Some of these common features are 
even now not completely obliterated. In section V. I have shown 
that Le Livre d'Artus presupposes an early history of Artus and his 
father Uterpandragon different from that given in Robert de Borron's 
Merlin, for the brother-kings Ban and Bohort are already the 
vassals and allies of Artus's father. With this postulate the Lancelot 
is in complete agreement. Uterpandragon, we are told in the 
Lancelot, crosses over to France to help King Aramons to defeat 
Claudas and to lay waste his land, which for this reason is called 
* la terre deserte/ Uterpandragon is said to spare only the city 
of Bourges in remembrance of the days he passed there. Nascien, 
Hervi de Rivel, Ganor de Cahert, and several other knights are 
said to have already been Companions of the Round Table in the 
reign of Uterpandragon. In another place, Hervi cle Rivel is said 
to be more than eighty years old. Ywain learns from an old 
hermit, formerly a knight, that he knew his father in the days 
of Uterpandragon. This hermit would have been a Companion 
of the Round Table had he not declined the honour, because he 
mortally hated one of its Companions. One of Lancelot's hosts 

his lather s death, all uterpanaragon s nege-men were summoned 
to receive their land from the young king and do him homage. 
Amongst those who obeyed this summons were Ban the king of 
Benoyc, and Bohort, the king of Gannes. At another place we 
are told, that fifteen days after the marriage of Artus and Guenever, 
Bohort and Ban, who was of ' grant eage/ start on a brief visit 
to Great Britain to do Artus homage. And, lastly, on another 
occasion, a knight is stated to have told Bohort, the son of King 
Bohort : ' II auint au couronement le roy Artus que tout li homme 
de la terre vindrent pom lui fere honour et feste. Et en ce que 
li rois Bohors vostres peres sen revenoit a grant compaignie si lot 
agaitie li roys Cerses del Vermeil Castiel qui le haoit cle mortel 
hayne por ce quil auoit ochis son fil/ 

As I have pointed out on page 38, the circumstances connected 
with Artus's birth and accession when hardly more than a boy, 
and his marriage with Guenever the daughter of King Leodegan 
shortly after his coronation, are evidently, in the Lancelot, completely 
at variance with Robert de Borron's account of these events. Is 
it not more than probable that the writer of the Lancelot has derived 
his information from a similar account as that in Le Lime d' Artus ? 

The writer of the Lancelot does not yet know Merlin the Enchanter 
in the character Robert de Borron has given him, as is evident from 
the fifth laisse in Part I. The birth of Merlin, etc., was probably 
told in Le Livre d' Artus in harmony with the intercalation 1 to be 
found in the Lancelot MS. No. 754 at the Bibliotheque Nationale. 
It is quite within the bounds of possibility that this intercalation 
is directly or indirectly derived from Le Livre d Artus. There is 
one more feature common to Le Livre d Artus and the Lancelot, 
and this, I believe, provides the key which enables us to under- 
stand the relationship between the two compilations. 

I have shown in section III. in the fifth quotation that, among 
many other incidents and adventures, there was told in Le Livre 
d : Artus, at one time, how Artus with his allies Ban and Bohort 
undertook an expedition against the Saxons which resulted in the 
conquest of their stronghold La Roche as Saisnes. An account 
of a similar expedition having the same result, in which Ban and 

1 Fols. 10c-13d. It is printed by E. Brugger in Zeitschrift fur franz. 
Sprache unci Liticratur, vol. xxxi. pp. 277-281. 

stated at tne same rime, a ieaxure 01 rne i^anceioi rowarci ine enu 01 
Part I. 

Considering all I have been able to say about the existence, the 
structure, and the component parts of Le Livre d'Artus ; considering 
further, the intimate connection and reciprocity which undoubtedly 
exists between this romance and the Lancelot ; and lastly, carefully 
weighing all the points in which both agree and in which they are 
at variance, it is my deliberate opinion, nay my conviction, that all 
this, if it may point to more than one single conclusion, points only 
to one single conclusion satisfactory in all respects, viz., that the 
compilation with which the first and subsequent compilers of the 
Lancelot expect their readers to be familiar, without a knowledge 
of which much of what they tell would lack foundation, can be no 
other than Le Livre d'Artus. I believe, as I stated in my Introduc- 
tion, that the Lancelot was grafted (I can think of no better term 
to express what I mean) on Le Livre d'Artus, by giving to the brother- 
kings, Ban and Bohort, children in their old age ; by identifying 
the son of Ban with a knight Lancelot, known at the time in French 
literature (as may be concluded from the lost French source which 
Ulrich von Zatzikhoven declares he drew upon in his Lanzelet), 
by naming the sea-fairy by whom this knight Lancelot was brought 
up, Yiviane, and fusing into one her personality and that of the 
maiden by whose wiles Merlin was ensnared. 

I believe that Le Livre d'Artus was on three successive occasions 1 
ransacked, as it were, by the compilers of the Lancelot, and that- 
most of the episodes which now figure in Fragments I. and II. and 
in the Lancelot, were at one time completely told in Le Livre d'Artus, 
but transferred and adapted to their new surroundings, as was the 
case with the expedition against the Saxons and the conquest of 
La Roche as Saisnes. Le Livre d'Artus, at one time of proportions 
not falling short of those of the Lancelot in the Vulgate-Cycle, grew 
gradually smaller while the Lancelot increased in bulk, and it was 

1 Ibidem. I state : ' A study of the Lancelot MSS. enables us to recognise three 
successive phases in the development of this romance, which correspond to the 
dates. First, when the Perceval-Quest was embodied in the romance ; second, 
when it became a component of the first cycle ; and third, when this latter was 
transformed into the Vulgate-Cycle. While it is not difficult to distinguish the old 
stock of the romance from later additions and modifications, it is not always easy 
to determine whether the latter were made at the beginnings of the first or second 
phases of its development. The additions made, and changes effected when the 
Vulgate-Cycle was formed, do not, however, belong to this category.' 

Cycle deprived it 01 what 1 nave sty lea fragment n. pus an 
unknown quantity, 1 and replaced its end by what now forms the 
last third of the Yxxlg&te- Merlin. And this rivalry between the two 
romances, a consequence of the acclimatisation of the matiere de 
Bretagne 2 on French soil, is but a reflection of the struggle of the 
Celtic or British champion Gawain and the French champion 
Lancelot for the first place among the Companions of the Kound 
Table and the knights of their age. It was not decided by the 
sword and the lance but by the pen of the trouveres in favour of 
their countryman. The relegation of the British champion to the 
second place soon afterwards compelled another British knight to 
cede his place of honour to a Frenchman, for Galahad was a 
Frenchman, although his mother was the daughter of King Pelles, 
the uncle of Perceval. 

1 The reason why the greater part of Le Livre d'Artus was suppressed and 
replaced by another shorter account was not, of course, as has been suggested, 
the salacious character of that romance, but simply and solely the tendency to 
reduce it and increase the Lancelot, and the fact that the same adventures could 
not verv well appear both in the one and in the other. 

2 Covf. what I stated in my Introduction, p. vii. ' The matiere de Bretagne, 
though undoubtedly the fountain-head of many incidents, episodes, and adventures 
in Arthurian romance, has exercised an infinitesimal, if any direct, influence on the 
several branches of the Vulgate-Cycle. The Vulgate-Cycle, as handed down to 
our davs in manuscripts of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, is an entirely 
French production, which originated in the north of France towards the end of the 
twelfth century and the beginning of the thirteenth. The trouveres and compilers, 
or assembleurs, dealt with material that had already become completely acclima- 
tised in France and was in but very few cases modified by recourse to oral tradition. 
In brief, the French prose-romances, forming together the Vulgate -Cycle, are the 
fruit into which the matiere de Bretagne ripened on French soil, and by the 
administrations of specific French cultivation. The writer of the Lancelot in its 
original form, Chrestien de Trove, Robert de Borron, the writer of Lestoire del Saint 
Graal and Vulgate-Quest, and he who was responsible for the adaptation of the 
material forming Le Livre d'Artus, all were Frenchmen and all made use of French 
source-material. Merlin the fatherless child, as Robert de Borron represents 
him, and the grotesque, in some respects burlesque, personage into which he has 
degenerated in Le Livre d'Artus, is but an anamorphism of the Celtic enchanter.' 

« Syr Lancelot, the title-hero of the huge romance of that name, has no prototype 
in Celtic literature. The only incident in his life which is indirectly derived from 
the matiere de Bretagne is his bringing up by a fairy. The Lancelot is out and out 
the conception and creation of a French brain, as also is its hero's association with 
Kino- Arthur's Queen. Syr Lancelot is a Frenchman by birth and education, the 
ideal type of the French knight of the twelfth century, with all his most brilliant 
qualities and faults: he was deliberately designed to usurp— and has usurped— 
the place of the Celtic or British hero" Syr Gawain, who had until then beer 
unanimously acclaimed the best knight in the world, the foremost of the companion; 
of Arthur's celebrated Round Table, etc.' 

light of the results of my labours, I believe Le Livre d'Artus to have 
played in the development of the Arthurian prose-romances or 
in the genesis of the Vulgate-Cycle, and a comparison with what 
I have said on that subject in my Introduction will show that, 
beyond adding another stage and enabling me in some respects 
to be more precise, the knowledge of the existence of Le Livre d'Artus 
does not entail any modification. 

When the idea was conceived to carry out the plan in prose 
which Robert de Borron had intended to carry out in verse, as he 
stated at the end of his Joseph, 1 it was recognised that the single 
sentence ' Ensi fu Artus esleu a roy & tint la terre & le regne de 
Logres lone tans en pais ' was too inadequate an account of Artus's 
reign for a grail-cycle. To remedy this defect recourse was had 
to Le Livre d'Artus, which is often referred to in the MSS. as ' Li 
Contes des Estoires/ As the crude craftsmen, the assembleurs 
undoubtedly were, shrank from altering Robert de Borron/ s popular 
Joseph and Merlin, they rendered them into prose, and eliminated 
from Le Livre d'Artus what corresponded to the events told in the 
Merlin. They did not trouble to harmonise the heterogeneous 
material they joined, and it is therefore not surprising that some 
glaring discrepancies and contradictions were allowed to exist, 
some of which have survived in the MSS. to the present day — I am 
referring to those Paulin Paris 2 was the first to point out. The 
first grail-cycle consisted thus of — 

First, the prose renderings of Robert's Joseph and Merlin. 

Second, Le Livre d'Artus minus what corresponded to the 

Third, a Perceval- Quest probably inserted in Le Livre d'Artus 
before the description of Artus's campaign against the Romans. 

Taking this cycle as his model, an unknown French writer 
conceived later the plan of completing Robert's work by adding 
to it what is known as the Didot- Perceval? 

About the same time another anonymous writer, also a French- 
man, who posed as Gautier Map, the archdeacon of Oxford, influenced 

1 Conf. E. Hucher, Le Saint Graal, etc., vol. i. p. 332. 

2 Paulin Paris, Romans, etc., vol. ii. 

3 Conf. H. 0. Sommer, Messire Robert de Borron und de$ Verfasser des Didot- 
Perceval. Beiheft No. 17 zur Zeitschrift fur roman. Philobgie, 1908. 

Le Lime d'Artus, not improbably with the deliberate intention oi 
embodying his composition in the grail-cycle. This first draught 
of the Lancelot was evidently of very small dimensions, and not 
unlikely what forms now Part I. 2 

The next step in the evolution of the Arthurian prose-romances 
was the formation of the Joseph- Lancelot- Perceval-Cycle. The 
prose-renderings of Robert's Joseph and Merlin remained untouched ; 
Le Livre d'Artus was slightly reduced, the account of the birth oi 
Lancelot, Bohort, and Lionel was added to it, and the Lancelot was 
intercalated before the Perceval- Quest. The last branch, La Mori 
Artu, received already the form which it now has. It is not improb- 
able that this cycle was subjected to, at least, one revision, and that 
some of the changes were introduced in the Lancelot and Le Lirre 
d'Artus, which it is so difficult to date. 

When Lancelot had gradually stepped into the place of Gawain. 
the time had arrived for replacing Perceval by Galahad. Lestoin 
del Saint Graal and the Galahad Quest were written, and then the 
Vulgate-Cycle was formed. Robert de Borron's Joseph was replaced 
by Lestoire del Saint Graal, but the Merlin remained intact. At 
this point Le Livre-d' Artus was practically annihilated as a romance, 
for almost half of what was still left of it was suppressed and re- 
placed by what now follows after the departure of Loth and his 
sons on their mission to the rebel kings. 

As to the contents of this substitute, I have already stated that. 
with certain modifications, the mission of Loth and his sons to tire 
rebel kings, their adventures on the road to the north, Gawain's 
fight with the Saxon king Clarion and the -conquest of the latter's 
wonderful horse Gringalet, Ga wain's meeting Eliezer the son oJ 
Pelles, and lastly the arrangement of a truce between Artus and 

1 In my Vulgate-Version, etc., Introduction p. viii, note 1, where I endorse 
the opinion expressed by Gaston Paris {Romania, vol. xii. pp. 459-534) that 
Chrestien's poem forms the basis of the version found in the Lancelot, I continue 
to state that I do not believe ' that Chrestien was the first to introduce " la liaison 
coupable de Lancelot et de Guenievre " into the Arthurian romances, for I hol( 
that it had already been introduced by the writer of the Lancelot, who transferrec 
to Lancelot the part played by Gosengos, or some other adorer of Guenever, in the 
early history of Arthur known to him.' Now, considering that the Lancelot waj 
written after Le Lirre d'Artus, I think it not only possible but highly probabk 
that Chrestien himself transferred the part of Gosengos to Lancelot. 

2 Conf. my Vulgate Version, etc., vol. i., Introduction p. xvii. 

Ban, Bohort, and Botn side by side witn xne reoei Kings, ana me 
ultimate defeat of the latter in the substitute, has a very faint 
resemblance with what is told in Fragment II., but the former is at 
most a very free and considerably shortened rendering of the latter. 
As to the rest, the substitute contains — first, incidents and episodes 
which are also, though very differently, told in Fragment II., such 
as the visit of Ban and Bohort to the Castel des Mares and what 
happens there, and the birth of the sons of the kings Ban and Bohort ; 
second, incidents and episodes which are not told there, but 
some of which, at least, may have been told in the last part of 
Le Livre d'Artus. To the last-named category belong the feast 
at Camaalot, the fighting between Artus and Rion before Carohaise, 
and the final defeat of Rion, the dream of Flualis, the episode of 
the damsel and the dwarf, and the war with the Romans ; Artus's 
fight with the giant and the great cat, Gawain's transformation 
into a dwarf, the magic imprisonment of Merlin, and the quest of 
Merlin, etc. I am afraid it will never be possible to definitely state 
which of the incidents I enumerated may have figured in the earliest 
version of Le Livre d'Artus, for the very simple reason that not a 
single MS. is ever likely to be discovered shedding light on this 

The Lancelot, also, was considerably changed. Certain adven- 
tures of Perceval were deleted. An account of the conception and 
birth of Galahad, of Lancelot's second frenzy, and of all that is 
connected with that event, of Agloval's visit to his mother, of 
Perceval's wish to become a knight of Artus's, of his arrival at 
court, of his quest of Lancelot, his meeting and fighting Hector, 
of their miraculous healing by the Holy Grail, of their finding 
Lancelot, of Lancelot's return to court, and of Galahad's infancy, 
was added. The prose-rendering of Chrestien's Romans de la Charrete, 
if it had not been already added £o the Lancelot, when the Joseph- 
Lancelot- Perceval-Cycle was revised, with other material from 
Le Livre d'Artus was worked into the Lancelot at this time. The 
Perceval-Quest was replaced by a very careless version of the 
Galahad-Quest, and to make the connection between this and the 
last branch appear more intimate, the last paragraphs of the former 
were transferred to form the opening paragraphs of La Mori Artu, 
which, except for this change and a few references, remained intact. 

At the end ot my repeatedly mentioned Introduction, pp. xxi-xxn, 
I state, in answer to the question : What was this account known 
to the writer of the Lancelot, with which he supposed his readers 
to be familiar ? ' It was a chronicle, a " Brut/' a romantic history 
of the British kings, in which Uterpandragon's reign was more 
fully treated than in any other we know ; in which Leodegan, 
the father of Guenever, played a part ; in which the migration of 
the knights of the Eound Table from " Carduel en Gales " to 
" Carohaise en Carmelide por la desloialte quil virent naistre en ce 
pais " was substantiated ; in which Arthur's birth and accession 
were not told as in Robert's Merlin ; in which the enchanter's 
character had not yet undergone the transformation effected by 
Robert de Borron ; and lastly, in which, besides many other features, 
the deeds of Ban and Bohort as Uterpandragon's vassals were 
spoken of at some length, resembling in many respects those attri- 
buted to them in the capacity of Arthur's vassals in the Vulgate- 
Merlin. We no longer possess this " Brut," which was apparently 
later than Wace's, and which was known to Chrestien de Troye, as 
is evident from his Chevalier au Lion and from several passages 
in his Conte del Graal and Li Romans de la Charrete ; it is, however, 
quite possible that it was identical with the work referred to in the 
fifth laisse of most manuscripts of the Lancelot as " li contes des 
Bretes " or " li contes des bretes (sic) estoires," and in the passage 2 
which is inserted in several of the manuscripts of Robert's Merlin 
joined to the Yulg&te- Merlin (i.e. both being in these manuscripts 
branches of the Vulgate-Cycle) in the place of what Robert wrote.' 

If I cannot here state this ' Brut ' was Le Livre d'Artus, I am at 
least entitled to declare : If this ' Brut ' was not part of Le Livre 
d'Artus, it must have formed its basis or source. 

1 Conf. my Vulgate Version, etc., Le Livre de Lancelot, Part II., vol. iv., the 
preliminary note and the appendix. 

2 The book is described ' lystoire des rois bretons cest un livres que Martin 
de Bievre translata de latin en romans,' e.g. in the MSS. Nos. 105 and 9123, in the 
former on fol. 133d, in the latter on fol. 103e. In the MS. No. 749, fol. 132, col. a, 
the book is styled : ' lestoire de Bretaigne que on appelle Brutus que messire 
Martin de Eocester translata,' etc. In the MS. C from which I have quoted supra 
in many places speaks of, ' the storye of Bretons. That is a boke that maister 
Martyn translated . . .' 

Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty 
at the Edinburgh University Press 

Renewed books are subject to immediate recall. 

■ J^-.v.^ 


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